I wake to rising, to the elevate sun and flight of birds.
I wake to the lift and life of daylight, the streaming of shine clouds illuminate in.
I wake to a rising child whose small arms reach up for holding.
I wake to her uplifting face, a helium kiss.
And I salute this day for the upward shift of heart it gives.
I wake to the uplift of bloom and branch and catch as much of the sun as I can.
I insist on joy and the living out of it like the infinite box of good things it holds for me.
I live for the lifting hands, and haul each beaten dreamer out of the dark,
one by one, the basement empties of starving child,
wounded student, yet another undreamed of horror.
I stand at the circle door of heaven sleeves rolled up for the work.
My muscles flex in delight and purpose. I lift so they may rise.
I do life like love and revisit the morning light of everything I do.
I imagine the arisen. I enact the rising.

This life invites the illuminating action.
I reach out to you, child, all who have witnessed the bullets, and I sing
out the low, the debasing, the unceasing image hat this is all we are.
I rise above the working and I turn it into lifting.
I lift myself up out of the world til I am floating on the muscular rain,
making my shape out of cloud and soprano sunlight, the voice
at the top of the dome of heaven
I bind to my voice and I sing out of the world its call for me to hey come down from there.
I lift up that voice, too.
I am the singing wingspread of my mind.
I eat the shadows up into me.
For they are mine, all these tragedies. They are mine so send them forth,
So I may infuse them with my breath and turn them into sorrows with wings
and bid them leave this world through the elevator of my witness.
I insist. I take them up like a banister. I am the staircase of the eschatology.
I rise in the morning and in the night when the moon comes up, as all the lights go down, I bind myself to the moon’s light and I rise.
I insightful, strong with God who also is always there lifting, singing as I lift.
I infinitely bound to air and earth, I rise with the color of fire.
And I am breathing in the weapons.
And I am breathing in the war.
And I am breathing in the harsh words.
And I am breathing in the same old story told to the same old music.
I am absorbing the history of mankind,
The history of violence, the history of the rise and fall of just about everybody at this point.

I am absorbing the atomic bomb, Hiroshima, Auschwitz, Nagasaki, Baghdad, Kabul, Sarajevo, Sierra Leone, London, Paris, Darfur, I am absorbing Rwanda, absorbing East Timor and East Berlin, I am absorbing Congo, I am absorbing Watts and New Orleans. I am absorbing Wounded Knee, Tippecanoe, anything and everything that took place on this soil since 1492. I am taking in this moment on this earth surrounded by these amazing, loving good, hopeful, dreaming, wanting, determined, anxious, did I say loving people and I am breathing all of this in and I will not breathe it out.


I enjoyed hearing you read this poem tonight at Malaprop's during the Traveling Bonfires event.

Maybe it was serendipity, I was on my way to the library to return a Robert Bly book and say Pasckie at Malaprop's and stopped into to say hello. I never made it to the library, but I enjoyed the reading.

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