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The Heart Will Not Be Managed

painting by Paul Grignon
That is what they told me as I strolled through
their territory. They said you can cut us all down
but our roots will find a way over or under
other roots. They say look at how we shield
the thinnest branches and the softest leaves
without telling how or where to grow.
We house birds of all kinds no matter
how they live or what they believe. 
We don’t ask for love from mice
or loyalty from snakes. We have not created
by-laws here, demanding that neighbours sign
before entering. We don’t judge. When something
invades our sky and we cannot reach the light
we grow in a different direction.

They ask me to look at my own ancestors
for the proof, put your gears in reverse and look 
at where you came from as you ventured slowly
out of the ocean with new found legs looking 
for something to eat. Then look at the first mother 
and the first father how they laughed and how they cried 
never questioning the authenticity of their tears. 

Look at you they say. Look at how you survived 
your first breath, learned how to walk, how to speak,
how to hold the next generation inside
until they are ready to be born.

All we ask is that you remember these thoughts
when you are locked in a concrete cell
when you are tortured by your own confessions
or sent back to the sea in a coffin.
The heart knows who you are

and will be with you until you die.

(Infinite Power, Ekstasis 2016)


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