The Lily

The rose plant grew thorns because it was tired of being eaten;
And chrysanthemums produce poison to kill predators;
The bougainvillea bush shreds the hands of an unwary pruner.
But the lily fears conflict, and is trodden under foot.

Who among us has the courage to speak, despite the threat of the shearers?

Just as a barnacle can slow a ship in its path,
And as a louse jumps away from the sweeping comb,
So, too, are the parasites who fail to act, for fear of reproach:
They halt sapient progress and frustrate their fellows.

What does it profit a person to avoid conflict?
His nerves grow thin, and his hair falls out;
He can’t stand to see the face of whom he fears,
And runs at the appearance of an olive branch.
When he sees a quill and paper presented,
He assumes it’s a sword and shield;
And at the first sign of disagreement,
He abandons the peace treaty.

How many battles have we fought out of fear to negotiate?

The hands of the fearful are streaked with blood,
And the mind of the coward waxes crimson.
He sits in his war-room, planning for his defense,
And sends brave soldiers to die in his stead.

Still, the heart of the cowardly is bold with contempt.
It induces its wearer to make dogmas;
It convinces the gullible that avoidance is the only way,
And shuns forthright conversation.

Have pity on he who speaks of blind pacifism,
And have pity on the friends of the fearful,
For the burden is theirs, who turned their eyes from Poland,
And the ashes of Jews call their names.

But to the courageous is this boon:
Although you may be shorn,
Your petals are sought by many,
And your home is a fragrant garden.

Will the lily stand tall, or the tender grass bear seed?
These only thrive in isolation.
But perhaps, one day, the grass will learn to make grain,
And a farmer will protect it with his rifle.


I Want You

I only want you if I can make love with your mind;
I want the sweet liquid that’s born between your eyes.

Wreathed in gorgeous hair, with a delicate, sloping nose,
And perfect lips that reveal petals of tender pathos,
I want to sip your soft persuasion
And hear you vociferate felicity.

I only want you if I can kiss your soul and feel the Goddess hold me close;
I want you to invite me into the sanctum of your heart.

Concentric circles, and mountains, and valleys
Dip to the hot, red core that lies within.
I want to hold our dales together,
And create a paradise for two lovers.

I only want you if you can face your fears;
I want to kiss your hand and shed a tear together.

Though the world may shake,
And the earth may crumble beneath us,
I want you to hold my gaze,
As we boldly speak our truth.

I only want you because we’re equals;
I want to cross our sabers and salute one another with pride.

Sharp, flexible, and shining,
The blade is swift because a swift hand wields it.
I want to feel your steel upon my skin,
As unwavering and gentle a calligrapher’s brush.

I want you to know the ocean within me;
I want your moon to overflow my shores.

Spires, cliffs, and jagged boulders,
Salty spray above heaping kelp;
I want you to burst my levees
And surround my lonely island.

I want you because I love you;
Because your eyes are deep, like galaxies.

I want you because I sense you;
I feel like I’ve met you, before.

I want you because you push me;
I flex in your mirror image.

But I only want you if you want me;
Because freedom is the most beautiful thing of all.