Tuesday, September 04, 2012

We murder the innocent

We murder the innocent,
As we were murdered,
And coerce them to join us
In our fruitless quest
To be the best, the most, the newest.

We murder the innocent,
As we were murdered,
Out of our fear of seeing
That our "there" is "here";
Claw and scrape to the top
Of the bottom.

The innocent in me,
Set it free!
And fly with me
To the bottom
Of my/our hearts.

               Diane Shavelson 1991


stormrider39 said...

I'm sorry, I don't get it? Please explain?

Anonymous said...

From Thomas Merton's book Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander There is a pervasive form of contemporary violence, and that is activism and overwork. The rush and pressure of modern life are a form, perhaps the most common form, of this innate violence. To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many projects, to want to help everyone and everything, is to succumb to violence. The frenzy of our activism neutralizes our work for peace. It destroys our own inner capacity for peace because it kills the root of inner wisdom which makes work fruitful.

My thoughts; there are always multiple ways of being wrong and only one way of being right, or said another way; there are infinite lies, but finite truth.
Therefore, it is a valid warning from Merton. However, purpose cannot be realized in an over abundance of peaceful solitude.

Moderation in all things.
Terence, Andria

Americ Azevedo said...

That passage from Thomas Merton is one of my favorites.

Diane said...


Maybe this clarifies it: What I mean by "the innocent" is the pure, shining light that we are when we come into the world.


Haku said...

Woah...no words.

My Game Ball said...

Excellent poem. Diane is very much a natural when it comes to explaining critical and possibly lethal values in beatific verse.

It is true that one of the plagues of our current race to the top is stripping the innocence / the purity / the explorative / the creative part of not only our spirit but those around us. It has become a BAD HABIT, but unfortunately a very acceptable one.

Again, excellent verse on a cogent subject.