A Quaker Poet

Author(s): 
Department: 
“Ashes! Ashes: We all fall down”
(Ring around the Rosie, 1600s)

The thing is this:
I’m supposed to be a Quaker
And it has nothing to do with poetry.
After all,
One Quaker
Burned his violin
In 1675 on some London hill
Testifying about fleshy corruption. 

Meanwhile,
As I center down in the opening of Quaker silent worship,
Hymn tunes
Come up out of memory,
Urging
Me to sing
And make a kind of music, if only inwardly.

Trouble is
That if I joined the 17th century Quaker
And burned up my instrument
I’d need to throw myself on a funeral pyre
And become ashes.

 

Stanford Searl is a member of Santa Monica Monthly Meeting.