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a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society

Children of Hope

Barbara Flaherty

Let the Ripened Harvest Continue in Our Souls

The harvest is near.
Ripened fruit hang on the vines
waiting for the press,
the fermentation process.
The time of wine making is here.

Talk of peace is cheap.
Fear’s endlessly barking dogs
lick at the heels.
Wheels of grief and loss spin as
Ghandi weaves his simple cloth.

You must know yourself.
Ask Rosa on the bus. Martin’s
voice rings from his jail cell,
Go on to the heights, sing
every night like we sang in Birmingham.

A horse bridled with love,
real peace knows its own anger,
Lion of Judah,
seen the belly of the jail.
Real talk is no sweet love speak.

Black meteorite,
Malcolm circles the Kaaba,
waters of Zam Zam,
spring of Unity in his soul,
bold words tumble from his tongue.

Divine language,
Breathe on me, breath of God,
Verb of paradise
I have felt the touch of You,
I wish all human beings well.

No demonizing,
peace is risky business
the ear listening,
the penetrating eye seeing
into the heart of things.

The harvested grapes
ferment with age and clarify,
hands and heart process
Mandela’s transformation.
Pour me a glass of that wine.

Barbara Flaherty has published poetry and essays in various journals and anthologies. She is and the author of two books: Holy Madness (Chanting Press 2006) and Do It Another Way (Chanting Press 2008), and is the winner of the Drogheda Amergin Poetry Award, Ireland in 2005.


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