by Tom Baker
Sift the earth through your muscles, feeding,
as the whale strains the sea through its baleen.
Attend to the throbbing of the sun;
it is the harvest anger of the Lord.
Learn to hear in the whine of the stars
the groans of holocausts and rapine. Flee from smoke.
Love women no matter how old or torn or plain;
to abuse a woman is sacrilege
for she is the earth made sacred
and the sacred made incomplete.
Be embarrassed only at fear
and if you meet death
embrace her and cover her mouth with yours
so she will not call out your name.
Learn all you can about everything;
leave only enough ignorance in the world
to fill a small funeral. Do not marry quickly
for love and impatience are murderous bedfellows.
Worship God without propriety or pose
the way a leopard hunts or a tulip blooms.
Bless in dance your restless bones
joined and muscled with your song.
Obey as nothing else the One am One
who made your eye to be as gentle as it is precise.
Respect suffering. Give yourself away.
© Copyright Tom Baker 2019- 2008