A SILENT SCREAM: A STILL POINT
There is stillness /only when we drop to the ground, /pulling our legs in beneath us/like fingers clasping a palm /in order to become a fist. ---From “Light Year” by Hannah Stephenson, The Storialist, 08-24-11
It is the one place we learn too soon perhapsto find that still point, early enough to know
stillness is easily within our grasp: grovelling.
East of Eden, could there have been any otherway to accept an edict of eviction? Hind legs
are the postulant’s crutch to stand tall again.
Was not the burning bush accepted in terror,in quite the same suppliant surrender to rules
enslaved people must learn to struggle by?
Even a troth to die for a sovereign is still takenon knees propped by legs beneath, like fingers
clasping a palm. Where lies the stillness there?
Did not the jubilant brave receive his infanthunter on warm buckskin in the same position
as the homeless tramp accepting a tossed coin?
In wars waged for God and Country, a bereavedwife, mother, father, or son are the orphaned
who -- kneeling -- must accept a hero’s carrion.
Where is the still point there? Does the loverstill offer his promise and fealty to his beloved
in that humbled, prayerful, drop to the ground?
One scours this place overcome by great wrathdescending from the skies, the oceans, the air,
fire below and fire above, fathers killing sons.
A buried miner scrounging through the bowelsof the earth for fossil to light cities and lift
warplanes off the ground, does he not crouch?
Is there any other manner, a decent mien,to receive these wages of rebellion, a paradise
lost, not with legs curled beneath like fingers
clasping a palm to clench a fist against the sky?Where is the stillness there? In a stilled anger,
deep in his heart where feelings are the hardest?
---ALBERT B. CASUGA