• lenten journal: promise

    by  • March 10, 2016 • community, lenten journal, poetry • 1 Comment

    I come, in conclusion, to the difference between “projecting” the future and making a promise. The “projecting” of “futurologists” uses the future as the safest possible context for whatever is desired; it binds one only to selfish interest. But making a promise binds one to someone else’s future. (Wendell Berry, Standing by Words, 62)

    promise

    when Neil Armstrong walked on
    the moon, they told us the future
    would offer us the whole universe;
    yet, all we got were space trucks.

    the future is a fantasy, or a
    nightmare, depending on the
    channel; predictions of doom or
    dominance seem bankrupt of hope.

    there’s enough of life that leaves
    us feeling like clay pigeons on a
    skeet range: hit or not, we’re going to
    end up on the ground in pieces.

    can we let that be the last word?
    let’s go out under the stars and
    find ourselves; tell me again what
    it is to be friends, to be together,

    to mean what we said, even when
    life moves us like chess pieces . . .
    there’s no strategy to stop that,
    so let’s go back to the memory:

    the stack of sacred stones where
    we pledged to be friends for life,
    whatever came, or where we went–
    and here we are, just as we said.

    here, even though miles separate,
    and circumstances complicate.
    here, in heart and mind, flesh and
    blood. don’t go on without me.

    Peace,
    Milton

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    One Response to lenten journal: promise

    1. Suzanne Cate
      March 11, 2016 at 12:19 am

      Excellent. Powerful.

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