Poetry for the rEvolution

Every rEvolution needs poets…

I No Longer Steal from Nature

By Al-Ma’arri (Abu ‘L’Ala Ahmad ibn ‘Abdallah al-Ma’arri), 11th century C.E. (human)

You are diseased in understanding and religion.
Come to me, that you may hear something of sound truth.
Do not unjustly eat fish the water has given up,
And do not desire as food the flesh of slaughtered animals,
Or the white milk of mothers who intended its pure draught
for their young, not noble ladies.
And do not grieve the unsuspecting birds by taking eggs;
for injustice is the worst of crimes.
And spare the honey which the bees get industriously
from the flowers of fragrant plants;
For they did not store it that it might belong to others,
Nor did they gather it for bounty and gifts.
I washed my hands of all this; and wish that I
Perceived my way before my hair went gray!

The Butcher’s Door

By Cloud of Vows, Chan Buddhist Master, Song Dynasty (human)

For countless years, the bitter stew of hate goes boiling on
Its vengeful broth is ocean deep, impossible to calm
To learn the cause of so much conflict, terror, hate, and war
Listen to the cries at midnight by the butcher’s door

The Kind-Hearted Hermit

By Lu Fuhuang, Tang Dynasty (human)

Around this lonely mountain top, myriad peaks revolve
I’ve come to cultivate ascetic’s disciplined resolve
I take my broom and sweep away the deer’s tracks in the snow
The deer passed by, but in the morning, hunters will not know


By Danny Moynahan (giraffe), 20th century, excerpt from transcription by Danny Moynahan (human)

I’m a giraffe
And my laugh
Comes from deep inside my big giraffic heart

My neck is so long
That my song
And my soul is slow to make its way up to

My mouth is so far
From my heart
That my feelings and my words are days apart

So how can I say
Right away
How I feel for you could take us to the next stage…


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