san francisco peace and hope

Chapter 7: ETERNITY

“We carry inside us the wonders we seek outside us." Rumi


A Song of Light 

For Malala Yousafzai and friends
Sing of that light 
Hope and joy … agleam in her eyes
Sing of a girl
Who shed blood on their lies
Sing of the girl
Whose words rang true
Sing of her light 
And her innocence too
Sing of the girl
On a school bus one day
Sing of her sight
Seeing the blindness in her way 
Sing of that light 
Within a girl’s soul
Sing of a girl
Who would live her life whole 
Sing of the light, the soul of one girl
Sing of changes she made in her world
The song of a soul is both eternal and great
It can’t be put out - never has been … to date!   

Dan Brady


Elaine Drew, The Portal, Egg tempera and gold leaf on panel.

Middle of the Night

Full of love
sure in the darkness
surrounding her bed
all she needs to light her way
is an orange you left
on the kitchen table.

© Claire J. Baker
From author’s book on Trails of Naming, ©1999

Posted anonymously on a small square piece of paper put over a missing 
persons flyer at Grand Central Station's Memorial Wall, 200l:

Every morning
I see you
I miss you.
We never met.


Canto X

Song of the circle that covers no ground
But the circle of jumpers and the rope
Through which they are jumping

Song of the swimmer who cannot fathom
the depths as he faces the ocean
And the ocean which fathoms his fear

Song of the bird that knows no limits
In the infallible sky which cannot be circled
Embracing infinity and the circles of flight

Song of the arms around me in the rain
Of the night before and the morning
that ends the howl of the night and the rain

Susan Gangel

Susan Black, At NIght on the Bay
, Watercolor

For Katrina's Sun Dial

Time is too slow for those that wait, 
Too swift for those that fear, 
Too long for those that grieve, 
Too short for those who rejoice, 
But for those who love, time is Eternity.

Henry Van Dyke


behind glass watching
still morning sunlight
shedding time
through ragged trees
shoreline of cattails
open the door
the ducks you love
not still long enough
for their reflections to settle
shadows follow in wakes they turn
push their shadows like a tail wind
looking for something to keep
going a reason to come back

out of the wind fern edges
etched in sunlight
our fingerprints on the glass door
remember to show you
this tomorrow

Ken Saffran

Donald Gialanella, Samsara, Steel, glass, paint, plastic



In the push of time, it’s all too easy
to overlook the infallible,
the intoxicating quality of everything
that is; the old patterns of seeing
blind us to what is framed right
before our bleary eyes. Heartbeat
by heartbeat, universes are blooming
and decaying with the tide
of every breath that takes our death away
The world of look is finally a mirror
we breathe upon in our own sweet time.

Al Young - Copyright © 1992 and 2013 by Al Young


Auspices of Departure

Yesterday on Ocean Beach I saw the remains 
of the King Philip being reclaimed by the sea
in an ocher roil of waves.

Just two weeks ago it had resurfaced:
the first time in ten years according
to the shipwreck experts of these parts.

Once again the tide had muscled it to shore,
the fore and aft of this 19th-century clipper
jutting from the beach to enjoy the company

of children and crows in the buried belly of its hull.
I had then been walking with Mélanie whom I will 
be meeting again in a week’s time in Paris

for the love, food and frolic (and let’s not forget the art) 
Paris usually summons and this life should comprise 
more of but strangely doesn’t.

One man had stood to the side, 
taking pictures, 
in an almost messianic trance.

Crows resembled terrible puppets 
in their perpetual dip and hover, 
bullies of space and the contingent air.

Sand and debris were caught 
in a fierce whirlwind along
the embankment and somehow failed to spin off its edge.

In this wise, life moves.
The King Philip being ushered 
back to its nautical slumber.

Just overhead a pod of pelicans 
glided by as if to spell out
the word grace.

© José Luis Gutiérrez


Elegy for a Friend

She kept house the way she moved, 
quick thatching of pink, Rauli beech, 
brisk with sticks of yellow Laurel, not poco, 
not till she was ill the pace of stone, 
she once mauled by Andean wolves 
in her little house in Santiago 
built over the Mapocho, 
a Sabbath house of hinged bone, 
every week the rabbi's hull 
buoys them all against the chill. 

Senorita! Rose, mauve, blue the tints 
of wolves chasing Huemul, vicuna, 
her storied murals in palest chalk, 
but just as the blooms of Ulmo were 
opening, snap! just like that, her life went 
along the winds of the puna. 
How encounter my own shock, 
the white urns thick in nectar, 
her absence in the making, 
miel de Ulmo ever in her wake? 

Zara Raab


Evelyn Glaubman, Is the Lament Unheard? Acrylic, pen and ink on paper


(a Cinquain)

a lit candle.
A dove pin or necklace
holds whispered hopes so silently
they shout.

© Claire J. Baker


We Were Hours

In hours of day and night
we were gestures of our becoming
we were nature’s hints of distant music
we were hands reaching out beneath quiet thunder
we were slight rhythms working ordinary tasks
we engaged fingers and muscles and bones.

We were what pulled us in;
we were whispered by risking promise
we danced beneath moonlight’s shared midnight
we were lost in cadences of movement
we touched the gifts of belonging 
we fled our momentary doubts
we escaped long engagements
we had no explanations, we
moved; we simply were.

Vince Storti


A clouded sky,
radiant and still,
offers its clear, cold air.
Luminous dreams
breathe that immanent radiance,
fruitful with music
received from each tree
bared by winter’s intention,
each root slowing drinking
the wisdom of the dark.
On such an in-turned morning,
all is silvery with love,
resonant and aware;
traceries of wings across the sky
map the secret stirrings of stars.

Sherri Rose-Walker
December 2012


Lena Levin, Sonnet 12: All silvered over with white, Oil on linen


Even the sky must speak
into the peaceful light of
this kind of day

this kind of sky that bleaches
where its lips touch
the edge of the horizon
knowing how our eyes
demand the correction
of a horizon

a sky so deep in speech
with the bright, bright, day
she speaks fluent Latin

which means she also
speaks French, Portuguese and Italian
which were once dialects of Latin

a sky of such linguistic
and visual dazzle she dialogues
delirious with hope.

Eileen Malone



                                Judith Williams, Connected

Are you aware the world is 70%
covered in water and your body
adheres roughly to those proportions?

A kinship of constellation & motion
connecting pulse to trajectory.  You, happiest
under the watch of gibbous moon and the naming
of stars. 

Listen intently
perhaps, this is jazz playing to the cosmos.

Kit Kennedy



We who are luminous,
are radiant,
are 90% light,
who know a fiery fusion that
makes stars, and suns,
whose flesh is compressed of
dancing atoms.
We chart an inner astronomy,
our nucleus, our energy,
without burning our eyes,
we see.
There is a crust of seasons that we wear.
Seeds sleep along the bones,
erupt, and bloom
in heats and darks responsive to our moon.
Flames loop and leap the arteries.
There is a crust of seasons in the womb.
Beyond our brightness,
our creation, cells
connect in constellations of our own.
We who are luminous.

© Mary Rudge



Night-hidden violence has ended.
With the advent of morning, silence
takes grief into its everlasting arms.
Small sounds,
innocent of lingering fear,
slowly emerge;
notes of fresh melody
lend their purest resonance
to the sacrament of the day.

Sheltering liquid bird call,
litany of leaves,
light, praising flower faces,
the offering bowl of the garden
lifts up the dark remnants of night
to the tenderness of air,
the mercy of the sky.

Sherri Rose-Walker


Arthur Secunda, Arlesienne Night, Lithograph

stars circle night behind heat waves, their light
distant as the dead. Stars come back. We name
them and because we love to wrap ourselves
in pattern Rigel and Betelgeuse shine
in Orion, night after night, for us,
for as many generations as we want.
Talking in their dark beds, flashes of
red and yellow at their corners – a code
or a trick of atmosphere bending light?
What do they call themselves? What do they say
watching our cities’ shine? Of course I know
the patterns are arbitrary, that stars
never leave, we’re the ones that turn away,
to bed and then to daylight, as we must.
Ken Saffran