what we are

Bhakti Issa Urra
2 min readNov 18, 2023

In these times of uncertainty — tremulous, touchy, trying periods of violent upheaval and tremendous loss — hatred can all too easily overcome all else.

The curtain rises on a circus run amok — a carnage of vicious and pointed hatred. The quick and instant devastation of murderous violence directed at one another. Or a slow, seething barbarity borne from centuries of inherited bias.

Hell bent annihilation as deadly as blatant disregard for the universe and life. Human and non-human lives with which we share this fragile, irreplaceable planet are at a constant face off.

We are beyond shocked at what human beings are capable of — ambient and pervasive in our daily living and dying.

D’où venons-nous? Que sommes-nous? Où allons-nous? by Paul Gauguin

Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?

The poet Jane Hirshfield is a serene and courageous voice of our time. An ordained Buddhist, humanitarian, planetarian, and advocate for the cosmos — she questions how to end this mockery and fatal drama.

Her explorative poetry in Spell to Be Said Against Hatred is a master work of quiet assurance, insistence, persistence, and perseverance of compassionate consideration.

Until hope bows to its hopelessness only as one self bows to another.
Until cruelty bends to its work and sees suddenly “I.”
Until anger and insult know themselves burnable legs of a useless chair.
Until the unsurprised unbidden knees find themselves nonetheless bending.
Until fear bows to its object as a bird’s shadow bows to its bird.
Until the ache of the solitude inside the hands, the ribs, the ankles.
Until the sound the mouse makes inside the mouth of the cat.
Until the inaudible acids bathing the coral.
Until what feels no one’s weighing is no longer weightless.
Until what feels no one’s earning is no longer taken.
Until grief, pity, confusion, laughter, longing see themselves mirrors.
Until by “we” we mean I, them, you, the muskrat, the tiger, the hunger.
Until by “I” we mean as a dog barks, sounding and vanishing and sounding and
vanishing completely.
Until by “until” we mean I, we, you, them, the muskrat, the tiger, the hunger, the lonely barking of the dog before it is answered.

Originally published at http://changewarrior.blogspot.com.

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Bhakti Issa Urra

canvassing consciousness, constantly curious — ever challenged & changed