Emily Dickinson says, “Hope is the thing that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words and never stops at all.”
If hope were so constant why does it often feel so elusive?
If hope were so constant why must it be
Fragile, like a bird?
Why must it molt and
Give away its feathers to the changing of seasons,
To the pains of growth,
To the tides of purpose and
Why must Hope be so near and feel so far
Like a jar
Holding gold that sits tightly closed
While my failing muscles
Drip like gas from a leaking tank
On the ground?
A car without gas has no purpose.
Does anyone else wonder about their purpose?
Does anyone else feel like a drifter,
Blowing quickly with the direction of the wind,
Sometimes far out to the east and
In a circle,
Round and round in a dizzying dance of looking toward
But not seeing
And running and
Heavy like a prisoner broken out of jail
Without a crime but only time—
How have I spent it?
Where am I going?
Why am I here?
There is a definition of hope that fails.
It flails in the wind
Blown through a flame on top of a candle and then
In the smoke.
This pointless hope is a wish.
Only a wish
Wandering while I
Wonder what to grab on to.
What to hold.
How to mold my lips into a circle meant to whisper into the smoky darkness,
This definition of hope is a lingering mess,
Like the pile left
After the raccoons have eaten what is left
And the opossums have rolled their wiggly bodies through the smell left behind by the
Spoils of the theft.
Hope is just a wish,
A word some say but Emily Dickinson says,
“A word that is spoken begins to live that day”
And hope is eternal so it isn’t right,
What does God say?
A menace to society that stalks the hearts of men
Wherever they go,
Never knowing—these words, this God, and
Cloistered in the shadows of Sunday.
Time to find,
Remember the anchor.
The pavement below our feet,
The dirt below the street,
The mud, the dust, the worms,
The bugs all the way to the center,
There is hope that erupts like a volcano from which we run,
We are stunned and
Look back and see the blaze and count our days and wonder,
“What have I done?”
What am I doing to light a fire under my own purpose?
My flame is nothing without His breath.
His volcano breathes like a dragon from the depths of victory.
And is to come.
To look to the left and to the right is a fight with no victor.
The victor is a head nod up,
A hand flying toward the sky,
A knee bent
A heart rendered useless without Him who
Lifts your head,
Who brings life to the dead.
He did not come to make bad men good
He came to make dead men live,
Like a thing that flies, that never dies
That soars like a bird
A bird that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words and
—copyright Jill Szoo Wilson
(Photo credit: German painter Heiko Müller’s painting, Biofeld. http://www.heikomueller.de)