“As The Day Begins”

The day begins with a fire that cannot be seen
like a young girl who does not speak
for fear of losing what burns within her.

The day begins with birds that cannot be seen
singing like those who know better than to speak
and so lose what gives them song.

The day begins with doors that cannot be closed
allowing what has lost itself with yearning
to find itself as it burns.

As the day begins,
everyone needs to get something out
to let something in:
By the end of the day,
no one remembers what it was.

No one knows
everyone needs
to get out
and let in
the same thing
in their own way.

What feeds the ember
feeds the hungering soul —
rootless — seeking its own root
in flames that grow invisible.

The hard wood crackles in growing flame
inside invisible growth
as the heart withstands the splintering
forced upon it to remain soft.

As the day begins.

Already the day begins, but
the bottom of the root has not reached
the top of the stem, and I
am not ready for beginnings.

The day begins
only when I begin to listen
to each moment ending
and each moment beginning.

I hear the unheard as the day begins:

I hear the pressed down sobs of young children
setting up lemonade stands
to cool the mid-July heat of unspoken divisions
and prove their own grown-upness,
prove their groundedness
to intoxicated parents,
who are like children in their pettiness.

I see the unseen as the day begins:

I see the homelessness
that hides behind estate gates;
I see the clenched souls
that hide behind open faces;
I see the wrenching sorrow
that hides behind too-wide grins;
I see the yearning for purity
that hides behind drunken eyes.

And I feel the untouched as the day begins:

I feel the push for contact,
and I feel the pull back;
I feel the pain of the one
who does not know how to be
with another,
and I feel the pain of the one
who does not know how to be

And I feel the pain of the one who knows she is alone,
I feel her struggle to make contact;
I feel what she feels
when she finds herself
to touch the truth
of her aloneness.

As the day begins.

3 thoughts on ““As The Day Begins”

  1. Brian, you have such a keen sensitivity to the pain of others. I am confident that you will end up serving the homeless, those with clenched souls, the sorrowful, the drunken, and the lonely. It may not be clear how, right now, but your ability to identify with them and communicate on their behalf is exceptional. Let the day begin.

    • I don’t think you understood this poem on the level it was written. I do not serve the homeless; I see homelessness everywhere; If I were to serve the homeless, I would be serving all of humanity. I do not serve the clenched souls, I see clenched souls everywhere. I do not serve the sorrowful, I see the sorrowful everywhere, especially in those who appear least sorrowful and who identify with other people’s outward sorrow so as not to feel their own within; I do not serve the drunken because I know how the drunken spurn clenched souls; I do not serve the lonely, again I see and feel loneliness everywhere, especially in those who claim to serve the lonely, for those are the very ones who do not feel the pain of their own aloneness.

      It is not the pain of others I am sensitive to; pain does not distinguish between self and other. I feel the pain which is not mine and which is not theirs, and I write how I feel as the day begins. Was I communicating on anyone’s behalf in this poem? That was not and never is my intention. I would never want someone to speak on my behalf; why should I speak on anyone else’s behalf? Wouldn’t that be the height of arrogance to claim to have the knowledge or wisdom to speak for someone else? In the poem I only communicated all the things I heard and saw and felt as the day began. I cannot help it if it was not understood on the level it was written.

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