Much of my poetry comes about (as you would expect) in response to external forces, and the high emotive quality of his writing caused me to retrench, taking solace or refuge in the act of writing a poem. The ensuant poem is not necessarily good or bad, but my only possible response to not only the facts as he presented them (great cause for alarm), but the agitation they stirred. His polemic--if I may call it that—suggested that not enough is being done to forestall or squelch this epidemic. The philosopher in me recognizes that, any just measures being taken, they may not yet suffice, while—however goes the pandemic—each of us must bear with his own personal circumstances as they find us.
Years ago, after writing one of the poems that now finds its home in Embodiment and Release, I told myself, "You will never surpass this." The judgement of that day was correct, though I hope that I may have equalled it. However, decades later, what I find remarkable is that I have lost my capacity to tell. How I could have been so sure and knowing then, I don't know. Nowadays, I respond to something, ink oozes from my pen and a poem is born; but I lack the ability to contextualize it, or guess what it may mean to other people. For this reason, I hesitate to put too much of my spontaneous outpouring up here, and yet, where is the place, if not this?
Here then is the poem.
Be Still, My Soul
I understand, that it may be thy will
O'ermastering mine, that death may see me dead
Before ambitious plans I may fulfill.
Thus goes the life of man. When comes the plague,
Or when comes accident, it alters all:
Vesuvius may bubble; though one beg
He may not the torrential flow forestall.
Praying avails one naught. Some peace of mind
Be had; yet even comes the cataclysm.
Belief may postulate a world designed;
Yet Chance may not be riv'n through exorcism.
Be still, my soul. Lord, let me be at peace,
For, how the world may go, it matters yet
How sits my soul: embodiment, release
Occur by law that cannot be upset.
Lord, I have done my part. Yea, made my plans,
Some brought to execution, well or not,
If chasing fleet, illusion-tinged romance,
Though in the end, no Golden Fleece I got.