excerpt from "for denise levertov"  

(©jean wall penland)


                                                                                          moving on is not for cowards

                                                                                          breathing in    and breathing out
                                                                                          plodding heart
                                                                                          these are constants

                                                                                          given to the huddled masses
                                                                                          given to the grieving hapless
                                                                                          shadows in a shadowed world

                                                                                          moving on is not for mild good folk

                                                                                          who stand in small
                                                                                          static circles
                                                                                          soothed by ripples never heard
                                                                                          never felt    never flowing
                                                                                          no movement in the dark

                                                                                          moving on is not for the innocent

                                                                                          the fire burns
                                                                                          burns to ashes
                                                                                          or to temper
                                                                                          the metal    or the mettle
                                                                                          of the soul

                                                                                          moving on is for the honored

                                                                                          lucky ones    who struggle
                                                                                          learning at the knee of
                                                                                          learning that the
                                                                                          moving on    is not for cowards

                                        copyright © 1993, jean wall penland