“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.