January 20, 2014

Do Not Do No Harm. ~ Joanne Fedler {Poem}

Do not be


as the Buddhists teach.

There is no grit in goodness.

No pearl without sand.

No butterfly whose wings

have not been distressed.


You must break promises

to yourself and others;

do the unforgivable;

torture those you love;

hunt the fox

and then eat

its fear-stained flesh.


All this you must do

to learn that there is nowhere to go

no-one to become unless you

turn your face

towards the threat inside you.

Not until you learn

where you are jagged



will you become

visible to yourself.


This is what it means

to be alive:

to know your harm

like you know the freckles

on your skin;

mottles of imperfection

as guilty of sin as

the San Andreas Fault.


Like the earth is torn;

you are torn

Like it is broken,

So are you.


To do no harm

is to

shrink from shadow

as if it weren’t

in you

from you,

like the outbreath.

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Assistant Editor: Lauren Savory / Editor: Bryonie Wise

Photo: Nikki Hoffman / Flickr

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Joanne Fedler