Poems for Meridel

To Outfox the Frost!

-For Meridel with all love

From whence
Arose that Voice?
Her vibrant voice —
Out of wildflowered prairies
Flowing Mississippis
Of masses in motion
Spreading in deltas
To oceans of Freedom.

From whence arose that Voice?
Her vital voice —
Out of picket lines and strikes
Protests, demonstrations
Street-corner orations
Struggles for justice and peace
Redeeming even the bloodiest century.

From whence arose that Voice?
Her clarion voice —
Out of a child’s wonder
The treasured book
Celebrating heroic lives
Of people just like ourselves
Etched images of daily courage.

From whence arose that Voice?
Her Goddess voice —
Embracing Mother Earth
In global-village hug
Calling forth the sacred circle
Free women’s choruses
Chant healing hosannas.

From whence arose that Voice?
Her radiant voice —
Full melodic moon, warm glowing sun,
Silken, fluid, sensual,
Viscous, flowing honey
Oozing golden-brown in cup of tea
From whence arose that Voice?

Deep desert springs
Ancient redwood rings,
Eagle-condor circlings
Clear measured cadences to keep us keeping on
Radical rhythms, solid, sure, and strong
Like some great gong
Heralding the communal dawn.

Meridel, your Voice rings out, sings out
Brings out the best in all of us
Your voice, rooted in the people,
Cradled in the corn,
Of Love and Labor born
In Liberty’s sweet harmonies
Forever solidarities.

Rooted in the people
In flesh and blood and bone
In plant and star and stone

In truth and love and friends
Past obstacles, round bends,
The harvest comes, the flowering,
Your voice sings out empowering:

“The people are a story that never ends,
A river that winds and falls and gleams erect in many dawns;
Lost in deep gulleys, it turns to dust, rushes in the spring freshet,
Emerges to the sea. The people are a story that is a long incessant
Coming alive from the earth in better wheat, Percherons,
Babies, and engines, persistent and inevitable.
The people always know that some of the grain will be good,
Some of the crop will be saved, some will return and
Bear the strength of the kernel, that from the bloodiest year
Some survive to outfox the frost.”

By Lincoln Bergman

Comments are closed.