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March 16, 2020

Pandemic poems

A path in Sibley EBRP

I’ve received two beautiful ones in email, and I’m sharing them here. If you know of more, please send them to me. I find them helpful and comforting during this strange time.
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Congregation

From the moment of birth our bodies know
that life is a force at once powerful and fragile.

Thus we are given equally to fear or to hope.

In these days may we be drawn to hope.

This is a time for prayer, for all who are suffering and dying,
and those who are bringing comfort and care.

Our churches, synagogues, mosques
and gathering places are shuttered.
So we turn to the place
that is the most sacred of sanctuaries:
the quiet place within.
There, we humbly acknowledge
what we easily forget:
that we are all mysteriously woven together.

We say the words of supplication for the frail,
the old, the poor, the alone,
the anxious and afraid.
And we offer our most profound prayer,
our silent listening,
so that we may receive that grace
which we do not yet know we need.

Our ritual on behalf of one another is simple.
We know that water is a holy gift.
Let soap become our collective sacrament.

Carlo Busby   March 13, 2020
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Pandemic

What if you thought of it
as the Jews consider the Sabbath—
the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now,
on trying to make the world
different than it is.
Sing. Pray. Touch only those
to whom you commit your life.
Center down.

And when your body has become still,
reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected
in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(You could hardly deny it now.)
Know that our lives
are in one another’s hands.
(Surely, that has come clear.)
Do not reach out your hands.
Reach out your heart.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils
of compassion that move, invisibly,
where we cannot touch.

Promise this world your love–
for better or for worse,
in sickness and in health,
so long as we all shall live.

Lynn Ungar

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