May 23, 2021

Hand washing and Anna Akhmatova.

I have washed my hands for twenty seconds

With soap and music. I have a mask to wear.

I have dreamed up a house with invisible walls

That let me see the sun and the moon and the trees,

Oh let me be trapped there for forty days

And forty nights, like Jesus in the desert.

Let me be trapped there for forty years.

Death is a mask filled with music,

And I have a mask to wear, I hear the music.

Perhaps you can hear it, too. Listen.


After the Nazis were finally driven back

Anna Akhmatova read her poems to the wounded

And the dying. Although well into middle-age,

They say she was more beautiful than ever,

That she had a glow that was ethereal

And kindness was in the blue of her eyes. 

Can you imagine it? The wounded heroes

Of Mother Russia filled with the rich poignancy

That leaps from the verse of the queen.


Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.

-Pablo Picasso

The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers. 

-Thich Nhat Hanh

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

-Henry David Thoreau


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VIA NEGATIVA, purveyors of fine poetry since 2003


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