The Sunday Poem: Susan Sherman... A Word to the Wise

Poet, playwright, co-founder of IKON magazine, Susan Sherman has published four collections of poetry, a translation from Spanish of a Cuba play, Shango de Ima, (Doubleday, 1971) and The Color of the Heart: Writing from Struggle & Change, 1959-1990 (Curbstone, 1990.) Her critically acclaimed memoir America’s Child: A Woman’s Journey through the Radical Sixties was published by Curbstone, November 2007. She divides her time between Albuquerque and New York.


A WORD TO THE WISE


You will be tomorrow what you are today
so spake Krishnamurti venerated Indian sage
but I’m not convinced if true I’d still be
one day old Something has to be added
somewhere to construct a life Sitting on the edge
of the arroyo brilliant New Mexican day
I try to open up listen through
each pore The sound of the wind against dry leaves
round like wooden coins clicking together so gently
they can barely be heard Let even your mind wander
hold nothing back
I succeed for moments get cold
go back indoors I used to believe in a river of dream
I could dive into at will the energy of world
beyond worlds but even then I had my doubts
I have no ancestors to call out to no old men
will doven away my fear What is there
in your bag of words Krishnamurti for the woman
I am not just for the creatures of your imagination
who can learn how to say yes and forget

--Susan Sherman


Editor's Note: Born in colonial India in 1895, Jiddu Krishnamurti was an philosopher, author, and public speaker. He died in California in 1986.
"You may remember the story of how the devil and a friend of his were walking down the street, when they saw ahead of them a man stoop down and pick up something from the ground, look at it, and put it away in his pocket. The friend said to the devil, 'What did that man pick up?' 'He picked up a piece of the truth,' said the devil. 'That is a very bad business for you, then,' said his friend. 'Oh, not at all,' the devil replied, 'I am going to help him organize it.'
I maintain that truth is a pathless land, and you cannot approach it by any path whatsoever, by any religion, by any sect. That is my point of view, and I adhere to that absolutely and unconditionally. Truth, being limitless, unconditioned, unapproachable by any path whatsoever, cannot be organized; nor should any organization be formed to lead or coerce people along a particular path."

Views: 81

Comment by Margaret Randall on September 27, 2009 at 9:14am
This is an exquisite poem of identity and place... one of those rare texts that touches us all, opening doors we could not have imagined walking through.
Comment by Richard V on September 27, 2009 at 10:06am
beware of the self appointed middle man. especially when it comes to matters of the spirit. the connect between the poet and the natural world... the realization that this is where the truth exists, all we have to do is open our eyes and our hearts. great way to start my sunday. gracias.
Comment by Merimee Moffitt on September 29, 2009 at 9:04am
Susan, I have saved my Sunday Poem reading until Monday as yesterday was hectic. Your poem is so tenderly feminist--and hugely powerful--taking on the powers that be with a kind smile. I will attempt to find your memoir--I love this poem. A child of the Sixties myself . . .
Comment by cathyray on September 30, 2009 at 9:20am
another old hippie chick here that was extremely moved by your poem! I have learned so much about the truth in the years since then (back when I knew everything).

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