Colorado shootings, prayers and poetry on the plaza

San Francisco International Poetry Festival, 37th Stand for Peace, July 28, 2012
San Francisco International Poetry Festival
37th Stand for Peace, July 28, 2012
Copyright L Kathryn Grace, all rights reserved

37th Stand

It is a gray day. The kind of gray, before global warming,  we saw often in San Francisco.

My heart is heavy with the violence in Colorado, with a society that glorifies violence, that teaches our youth to revel in gory special effects, to fantasize being one of the good guys–or the baddest of the bad guys.

My mind is dull. Constantly, I return to the breath.

Breathing in, I am peace.
Breathing out, I make peace.

A couple walk by, he, strong, long-legged, keeping a pace ahead of her. She, short, heavy, limping and holding her hand against her hip where it joins the thigh, as if to soothe a muscle spasm.

I know that pain. I pray healing for her, body soul and spirit, that she might more easily keep pace with her companion, suffer no more. I forget to pray healing for him as well.  For surely, when we are healed, we feel compassion for those in our care and view, contributing nothing to their suffering, easing their burdens where we can.

How many times do I forget this in a moment of pique?

My heart and mind return to Colorado, to all the people touched by the violence there, including the shooter, whom we as a society failed so completely, to his family, and all the families suffering under the multiple burdens of the violence. I pray for healing. I pray that love, the greatest healer, fill their hearts, surround them, touch every person with whom they come in contact.

My timer purrs. Turning, I see the commotion behind me this morning is for poets. The San Francisco International Poetry Festival is today. How I wish I had time to attend!

Will there be poems of Colorado? Of the shooting. Perhaps of the inimitable beauty of the mountains juxtaposed against the horror. But other poems as well. Poems, perhaps, of peace.

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