When great trees fall,
rocks on distant hills shudder,
lions hunker down
in tall grasses,
and even elephants
lumber after safety.
When great trees fall
small things recoil into silence,
eroded beyond fear.
When great souls die,
the air around us becomes
light, rare, sterile.
We breathe, briefly.
Our eyes, briefly,
a hurtful clarity.
Our memory, suddenly sharpened,
gnaws on kind words
Great souls die and
our reality, bound to
them, takes leave of us.
dependent upon their
now shrink, wizened.
Our minds, formed
and informed by their
radiance, fall away.
We are not so much maddened
as reduced to the unutterable ignorance of
And when great souls die,
after a period peace blooms,
slowly and always
irregularly. Spaces fill
with a kind of
soothing electric vibration.
Our senses, restored, never
to be the same, whisper to us.
They existed. They existed.
We can be. Be and be
better. For they existed.
― Maya Angelou
Fervent. Fearless. Focused.
“We can be. Be and be better.”
May her legacy live on.
My photo, Muir Woods ancient redwoods, California, July 2020
Beautifully spoken. Our hero. We so need heroes right now.
Thank you for this. You speak my heart. We must and will continue to fight for democracy and justice.
Beautiful poem and such a tribute, Claire, to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg!
Poetry can say so many things of the heart. Thank you.
Thank you for the poem Claire. The call to action at the end is perfect as we enter the Days of Awe (between the Jewish New Year and Day of Atonement), traditionally a time to reflect, make amends, and vow to do/be better
So appropriate for this great loss. Wonderful, true poem.
Thank you so much, Claire. That eased my heart in these difficult times.
thank you, beautiful. Thoughts and prayers with Ruth’s family and anybody who has lost someone special during these past few months. Erica
Thank you Claire for bringing the loss of RBG and the celebration of her life and gifts to all of us into the dialogue…A perfect poetic expression of this tragic moment. Although we all knew it was coming, it is a loss that feels personal, and crushing. And we know that her passing sets the stage for even more strife and political shenanigans–and all of us in non-profits know this is not healthy for the good of our country–or of our missions. Thank you!
Thank you all for your comments. <3
RBG = Strength. Justice = Fragile. Her strength will be missed. It is incumbent on all of us in the social benefit sector to come together, in strength, to fight the injustices of the world.
Thanks for your words and photo. Gives me hope. RBG was a good person. Good. Hard to find.
Just beautiful! Thank you, Claire
This is lovely, Claire. Thanks for sharing.