Ours

The house is silent.
The air is heavy.
The dusty draperies
Stiff and cold.

But life, outside,
_Our_ life, our secret,
Springs and sings
By the high stone wall.

They said, “If
You go beyond it
Down to Hell you’ll
Scream and fall.

“You’ll slide in sin,
Go down forever;
You’ll twist in fire
And drown in greed.”

But Hell is what?
Who really knows?
That massive hill
Is what we need.

“That mound”, they said,
“Is much too high.
It isn’t good;
It shouldn’t be.

“Your eyes and knees
Must seek the ground;
Your head must bow
In humility.”

We rise in darkness,
Me, my sister;
We lift the window
On what will be.

Afar we see
A silver star
Fire off where
No others are.

It doesn’t wait
For something’s call
Just goes, and
Doesn’t fall.

Say! Do you see?
It’s gone for good!
Like you and me,
Gone for good!

“Yes! I see!
Like you, like me,
It’s gone for good!
Gone for good!”

“Stop this singing!
Don’t be smart! God
Knows what is
In your heart!

“Don’t let Satan
Make fools of you.
Heed this lesson;
Believe! It’s true!

“Lights go on down;
Bright longings fail;
Such is life from
Day to dark day.

“Ours is never
To test and question;
Ours is only
To hope and pray.

“Selfish joy means
Burning sorrow;
Clamp your lips
And seal your loss.

“Make no proud music
For poor tomorrow;
Just do your duty
And bear your cross.”

Now is anger,
Twisting anger,
Stinging eyes
Held dry and tight.

See our faces,
Me, my sister;
Read the mirror
Glaring bright.

See the straightening,
See the sharpening,
See the grasping,
Proud and sure;

See the lips
Ache to freedom;
Hear the taking,
“I am pure!”

Out the doorway,
Down the pathway,
Through the bushes
Curtain still,

Running feet
Spurn the Nothing,
Turn to Something
Nigh the hill.

Far from death,
Far from fearing,
Coming, nearing,
Sudden, bright,

Ageless face,
Calm and searing,
Cleaves the clearing,
Killing night.

Now, the Wall,
Set to pen us;
Fear of Hell
To make us stay.

Look! The birds,
Branches swinging,
Might be singing,
“Here’s the way!”

See! It is!
Right before us!
We were blind!
Lies aren’t strong!

Winging eyes,
Almost flowing,
Skim the rim
Above the wrong.

All we are
Flies up skyward,
Seeks the star
That never dies;

Sees the hands
Reach up for freedom;
Hears “I have it!”
Clasp the skies!

Clasps the tree,
Clasps the branches,
Slanting up
Beyond the wall!

Wall of evil,
Wall of dying;
What care we
How hard we fall?

Hands are sweeping,
Bodies leaping;
O’er the wall
We’re flying far.

Through a fountain,
Up the mm–ountain!
All we take
Is what we are.

Depth is passing,
Height is lasting;
Eye of Freedom
Beckons still.

Heart’s desire
Needs the fire;
Look up higher,
Have your fill!

Who would doubt
Their eyes their seeing?
Who would want
A better boon?

Grip the rocks;
No more dreaming.
This is real,
Not a doom.

Yes, I hear them,
Just like always,
Wailing “Love!”
While hunting youth.

“Love!” to hold us,
“Love!” to mold us,
Love of guilt
To smother truth.

But_we_live,
And truth is rising;
Youth is smiling
To think and see.

What’s ahead
Is hard of telling,
But no more “cure”
Of humility.

Nay! to praying;
No! to hoping;
No more shaming
Behind the wall!

Light is seeking,
Right is streaking;
Kicked-off burdens
Slide and fall.

One last measure,
One more pleasure,
Climb for treasure,
Grasp, and draw!

Sure the hour,
Pure the power,
Golden shower
Now is law.

Look! The world!
“Yes! I see it!
Gleaming, laughing,
Smart and tall!”

See! Those lines there!
Silver runners!
Here’s our treasure!
Stays, and goes!

Stays, and greets us;
Goes, and leads us;
Life’s completeness
Ours to hold.

Aims the mirror,
Aims the steel,
Aims the spirit
Straight and bold.

All our singing,
All our grasping,
All our leaping,
Ours to bear.

High the beauty,
Low the duty;
Leave the Ghost
And breathe the air!

What we are
Stands, self-making—
Minds unbreaking,
Brash as steel.

Where we go
Reason knows it,
Leads the souls
That shall not kneel.

Rays of “I”
Climb to gladness—
You and I
That here have won.

Things of might
Sweep beyond us;
Here, around us,
Feel, the sun!

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