Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Holy Fire

from Wendie Marks

I wonder where everyone is. It does not seem quite correct that we have all gone our separate ways. There is so much that we have experienced and so much still to be said. Be well all.

The Holy Fire

Eyes burning for days; tears washing my face
If only one person could quench their thirst
and survive from my tears.

But no
It is too late
I have arrived too late
My heart swells aches cracks and seems to break

When will we the world recover?
How can we ask?
Hope to?
Dare to?
When so many have been lost?

There must be some meaning
We must make something of this
This raging fire hot blazes of combustion
Burnings, shootings, slaughterings, and so much more.
The annihilation of entire civilizations, a race.

But no! There are eighteen leafy green oaks pushing through stones.
Growing out of blue grey multi-colored boulders.
Something is surviving. Some have survived.

"These few these happy few?"

If Christ died for the peoples sin
Then is it possible that the holocaust
And the many other cruelties of mankind
May be a payment an exchange in the name of a higher good?

How might one understand the actions of murderers?

How might one transform all that we have seen
And all that we have remembered?
Is it the remembering that is the transformation?

Under crystal chandeliers we emerge
To higher forms of civilization: philosophy, art, music, poetry

Purification through fire gives birth to a refined humanity
An uplifted humanity.

Would you jump into the fire for a greater cause?
To transform all that you have seen and remember
Jump into the holy fire.
That is our great work.

There are bystanders and will be bystanders.
I am one of these too paralyzed and frozen
To be effective - to care about anything except ones own precious safety.

What if we stepped out?
What if we emerged from the grey stone
What if we were part of the rebirth of civilization.

Something passionate - yes
If only we could look through our eyes and not with them.

Will you come with me?
Let us jump into the holy fire.
To transform not once not twice but again and again
Let us join hands and jump together!


Ilka said...

This was so lovely. I am so glad you posted it.

WendieBeth said...

thank you so much. i am a bit shy about writing. it is nice to have encouragement. i hope to be more encouraging to my students this year. be well. don't forget to relax before school starts. feel free to email me at

Mr. Maerke said...

1. I really like your name. I hear poetry when I say it. It rolls well, and there's something of a message in it, like: "Wendie, leave your mark." Maybe I'm a cheeseball; if so just ignore this comment.
2. I enjoyed reading your poem, and I can remember the inflection of your voice when you read it to us.
3. Very poignant is the stanza on bystanders and self-accusation. I suffer from this also, and struggle with the courage to "call out" my colleagues in their comments.

Danielle said...

Thank you for sharing this piece - as Thomas said, I can still hear your voice as you read it aloud to us on the final day.

Take care,