Here, There and Everywhere

Hard Times Require Furious Dancing by Alice Walker (New World Library, 2011). Reviewed by Gabriel Constans.

Alice Walker’s collection of heartfelt poems range from the long thoughtful The Taste of Grudge, to the shortest of the lot called One Earth, which reads like a Reggae mantra, “One Earth. One People. One Love.”

The last lines in her poem Watching You Hold Your Hatred are truth incarnate. “There is no graceful way to carry hatred. While hidden it is everywhere.”

There is also a beautiful poem about Myanmar (Burma) democracy advocate Aun San Suu Ky (who was imprisoned and under house arrest for most of the last 20 years). It is titled Loving Humans.

This work, which combines Ms. Walker’s experiences, observations and insights from the last several years, in response to personal and social unrest and conflict, are honest, forthright and tend to resonate with one’s head, heart and gut.

Without further denigrating this collection with my meager and shortsighted words, it is probably best to let the author speak for her self and share some of her humanity and wisdom.

THIS ROOM

This room
Is very powerful:
Buddha, golden,
Holding down one side;
The primordial
Great Mother, black,
Offering her
Bead
Of mitochondria
Holding down
The other.
My meditation
Chairs
Are made of wicker
A miracle
Crafted by
Human hands.
Human being
May I not
Forget you
In all
This talk
Of God.

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