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Rooted, I rise

This lyrical poem of love and grief, burnout, compassion and regeneration by David Pedersen of the Stable Planet Alliance team has been previously printed in both English and Korean at this site, but is otherwise unpublished. We thought readers embracing both despair and optimism for our planet and society might find that it resonates. Read more of David here.

"Rooted I rise..."

When the world feels aflame with callous hate/

faith cries for renewal, yet nowhere to find it/

like butterfly wings pinned by a paperweight/

the soul may not flutter, when the heart feels blinded/

When hope is hollowed and compassion stretched thin/

from watering seeds, I never get to watch grow/

like I'm at the end of a long journey, that has yet to begin/

I feel too tired to cling on, but too weak to let go/

Out of empty despair I try to laugh like there's hope/

as if the smile had turned me its' unwitting slave/

while something nameless inside quietly broke/

and left me grieving in front of some unmarked grave/

As too much compassion turns tool for self-inflicted abuse/

and hope seems neither near nor far/

my heart and the world strikes a fragile truce/

But nothing feels like peace, when you're merely waiting for war/

And inside looms the dread of tomorrow/

by instinct all hardens, yet at what terrible cost?/

We hold the same shield against love, that we raise against sorrow/

cause to love is to miss what we have not yet lost/

But as winter's grip's broken by the sudden dawn of spring/

Like a lantern to the dark, there she holds it/

at first a strange and indefinable thing/

a loving lightness in her unburdened laughter unfolded/

Then, as if a thousand fireflies took flight in a second so sudden/

and lit the inner sky like little golden embers/

once more awakens what seemed long forgotten/

cause what the mind may forget, the soul remembers/

She reminds me a heart is simply meant to feel what it feels/

Though the rough hand of life may leave it battered and bruised/

with conscious care it grows back bigger each time it heals/

And is that not better, than to own one that is never truly used?/

I watch her embrace even that meant to hurt you/

like deep roots it spreads, her compassion contagious/

As a smile amidst adversity turns to glorious virtue/

to care in a cruel world is to be truly courageous/

From the path of despair, to which I had drifted/

to now embrace even that which seeks compassions' demise/

wings longingly stretch, the paperweight lifted/

And stronger once more, rooted I rise/

Photo credit: PuddleDancer Press

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