Two poems written by Carolyn Blackmer in the year of my birth, 1943
To Sarah, Laughing
I know for I have felt it, too,
Love's promises conceiving,
And hid my lack of faith in joy,
My joy, in unbelieving.
I know --I, too, have tasted sweets
Distilled from long communing
Of love's full sun on chaliced flower--
Rich fragrance of late blooming.
I know --for we have fathomed pain,
My love and I, in secret--
How curiously in lowest earth
Is wrought life's substance, deepest.
I know the burgeoning of growth,
Long, quiet exaltation,
When in continuance is made
Of love a new creation.
And though new birth must come with pain,
Sweet joy will follow after.
Dear Lord, I cannot praise enough,
My heart is full of laughter.
"It must take courage to bear a child these days."
Courage? To receive new life and bring it forth
Into a world long barren from refusing what is new?
Courage? To assist in love's creation
For a world gone mad with hate's destroying?
Rather say it would take courage to live on
Poor for the want of new hopes and aspirations,
Blind in the blaze of the new light,
In guilty shame for lack of innocence
To lead the way out of old mistakes.
New worlds do not come
From niggardly measuring of acceptance,
Nor from timid shunning of the unknown,
But from new beginnings
Set formless in the void of secret deeps,
Their substance seen, yet being imperfect,
Only by the One who willed it so.
New worlds shall come from patient bearing
The discomfort and the weight of new conceptions,
And heedless of our poor plans
To maintain the safe convenience of our former state
They shall be given substance
And grow into reality.
So shall a new race of man be born
Out of the eager acceptance of the seeds of truth.
Our readiness to bring forth
New ways of using freedom's rights
Without the blight of gain,
Our humble bowing to the travail
That must be suffered while we resist
The coming of the new.