After a sleepless night, worrying about the world
By Elaine Sutton
I stand in the whispering grass,
watching the mountains crouch
under their burden of sky.
The morning sun glides above the peaks
and the field is suddenly flooded
with turquoise light. A flock of redwings rise,
they turn together like a page of poetry.
I read between the lines
realize I am lonely, and afraid.
I worry about the wars, the weather,
the end of our beautiful, broken world.
I see the way we can harden our hearts
when fear is what moves us.
Now a marsh hawk cruises the yellow reeds, she dives swiftly
and some soft-furred creature’s life is over.
For each of us, hauling our basket of dreams,
it is only one breath, one breath,
that divides this world, and the next.
What is there to do then but give thanks,
Offer praise and gratitude for the sweetness we’re allotted,
Fling open our burning hearts, and help
Ah Eros, Eros
Whose hand distills
Into our eyes the grace
That fills with sweetness
Hearts thou wouldst assail.
Come not with evil on thy trail,
Come not too wild!
There is no star so blasting
Fire so hot
As are the shafts that Love hath shot,
The thunderer’s child.
—Euripedes, from Hyppolitus