Western Friend logo


Andrea English
On Words (November 2021)
Inward Light


Certain domains of words take aim at strangers –

to accuse, assault, open fire

on persons denounced, held to blame

Labels can bar the delicate image imprinted

behind every eye –

unbroken, unique –

secured in the soul’s secret lining

And the young can be hurt into hate,

can form a dense shell,

deny what the inward eye tells

Images encrypted,

passcodes lost


O world, words,

Unseal and drain this sickness

Clean away what blurs true sight –

what shatters,

what hates

Incite us to track

the imprinted human spirit

still in creation,

etched deep within


Andrea English is a member of Strawberry Creek Friends Meeting in Berkeley, CA (PacYM).


Language Poetry

Return to "On Words" issue