- About Hunger
- How to End Hunger
- Our Impact
- Get Involved
By Lucas Walker
I was born to a book-fearing house
and taught all kinds of respect for
Books were to be seen and heard
nobody needs your commentary, my dear
Set down the text
Look north, reflect--
neither book nor God should have your scribbles all over
Then, I handled books like my life I wanted--
make no mistakes, no
torn pages, errata of the immature
Follow the printed line, deny
the marks left by other callous hands
That which perches on my shoulder has died
Her once sleek body bearing marks of dull despair
There is no hope in the east
no feathered light on my shoulder
of course hope can die and her song turn
to something beyond mourning
I do not remember who I remember
when I pray
It took me years to start writing
in the margins of anything at all
Only when I could face the damage on the pages
the story I thought I was living-
only when I feared the denouement was near
when I had so much to say
and no one likely to mark it, including my own flighty mind
But I am still, moving, standing
shackled and looking for kin
Hope may be dead on a prison wall, weightless
disappearing under the rubble
yet so many keep
treading home anyway
making foot notes--
What do we name
that which keeps us moving?
In the drought-stricken place beyond despair
when we all seemed to be
dancing on the rim of a burning basket
Then the books came alive
under my pen and decisions
Columns deep as Alexandrian palimpsest
Ink spilt thick like stars, and everywhere
the bad handwriting of truth
Confirmation of the good news all bound up with suffering
What does it matter?
An egg will hatch and I will bear it
'til this nameless thing
Smaller, hardy bird of a rougher plain
Makes some call to set
the pace of my confident stumbling
There is no book-awe left, no sanctum sanctissima story-fear
I don't wear bells to read the words
I take my life in my turning hands-
Authors without count on the margins
It is because of you
She keeps singing so I keep walking
by life and by death
Lucas Walker is a pastoral care associate at the San Francisco Theological Seminary. He is also a graduate of the seminary, earning a Master of Divinity in 2012 and Master of Arts in Theological Studies in 2015.
By Marlysa D. Gamblin and Kathleen King
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