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Ward Kelley: Two Poems
Pushing, Pushing | Requires the Embrace

Pushing, Pushing

Death is what is left when I lose all
the earth has given me, its bestowals

of both pain and pleasure. Death is
my soul, and I have carried it through

this life of flesh and sensation, the soul
pushing, pushing at the flesh, then at

last fraying it irreparably. In the end I
learn death is also you, for you are left

with me, and I have carried you inside
all my life, waiting to discover which body

you inhabit, which form you chose, which
path you mapped, pushing, pushing us two.

Requires the Embrace

Forgiveness should not be the art
of ignoring, and it should not be

the science of the bandage, or the clever
housekeeping of sweeping uncounted

sins into darkened corners of the soul;
no, all these methods nearly assure

the wound will re-infect your very life.
Forgiveness, instead, requires the embrace

of that which hurts, so that it will, in the end,
come to be understood. This can be done

without endorsement, and once completed,
amazement will grow out of such empathy:

bewilderment how something so large, was,
really only a seed, one that will never grow

into a poisonous, sharp plant to wound you.

Poet's Biography:
  Ward Kelley has seen more than 1100 of his poems appear in journals world wide. A Pushcart Prize nominee, Kelley's publication credits include such journals as ACM Another Chicago Magazine, Rattle, Zuzu's Petals, Ginger Hill, Sunstone, Spillway, Pif, 2River View, Melic Review, Thunder Sandwich, The Animist, Offcourse, Potpourri and Skylark. Recently he was the recipient of the Nassau Review Poetry Award for 2001. Kelley is the author of two paperbacks: histories of souls, a poetry collection, and Divine Murder, a novel; he also has an epic poem, "comedy incarnate", on CD and CD-ROM.

© 1999 - 2003, by the poets featured herein.