A Ritual to Read to Each Other

If you don’t know the kind of person I am
and I don’t know the kind of person you are
a pattern that others made may prevail in the world
and following the wrong god home we may miss our star.

For there is many a small betrayal in the mind,
a shrug that lets the fragile sequence break
sending with shouts the horrible errors of childhood
storming out to play through the broken dyke.

And as elephants parade holding each elephant’s tail,
but if one wanders the circus won’t find the park,
I call it cruel and maybe the root of all cruelty
to know what occurs but not recognize the fact.

And so I appeal to a voice, to something shadowy,
a remote important region in all who talk:
though we could fool each other, we should consider—
lest the parade of our mutual life get lost in the dark.

For it is important that awake people be awake,
or a breaking line may discourage them back to sleep;
the signals we give – yes or no, or maybe—
should be clear: the darkness around us is deep.

by William Stafford

4 responses to “A Ritual to Read to Each Other

      • i wish it happened more. there’s something assumed to be pretentious about it. I mean, slow, patient reading, listening, whatever. But more the 140 characters is difficult to digest now. Fuck, I’m being so fatalist today.

      • sadly you are on the right blog for fatalism, i think it’s one thing to read at someone (to lecture them, preach at them, etc) and a whole other thing to read to them, to share with them something that is moving to you, make sense? i try and avoid the whole twitter thing myself except for following links to more substantial things.

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