mbird1
Search Moongate About Jodey Bateman Pablo Neruda Translations by Jodey Bateman Contributors Michael Eliseuson Ken Peters Daisy Sidewinder Uncle River Abuela Musica Jalapeno Peppers Children’s Page Finder Submissions
 
 
.
The Salving of Earth's Heart
 
These are the words of 

My great grandmother, 

Feigele Rachel, 

Once known as 

The Saint of Hester Street 

For her hand in 

Messages passed 

From heart to heart 

Across the barrier oceans: 

As she might know 

You all may know.) 
 
 

"Time is short, so short that 

It soon will end for you, 

Lest you take the moment and 

Remember who you are 

And have been, 

Lest you heed the voices 

Of the mothers, 

Ten thousand years 

Of mothers, 

Who bore you to this 

Place in time, 

To Earth's Heart, the 

Desert you have made. 
 
 

It is now that you 

Must lay that heart bare, 

Open it to every being 

Who has wakened in the sweat 

Of knowing wrong and rage 

At how this pass has come. 

Even the very least of you, 

Even the greatest of you, 

Even the straw in the wind 

And the blossom that 

Will be the olive. 
 
 

Earth's Heart must be opened 

To each by each, 

To the least and greatest, 

To the joyous and 

The weeping. 

For the length of two 

Nights journey by the swiftest 

Afoot, sunset to sunrise, 

In every direction 

Earth's Heart shall be returned 

To each and every of you, 

For you have all been dispossessed: 

Mind and soul and the making 

Of knowledge into those fruits 

You might have the will 

Not to wither with your touch. 
 
 

You shall each bring or send 

A handful of fertile soil; 

You shall each bring or send 

A handful of fresh water; 

You shall each bring or send 

The teaching of your children, 

The knowing that there is but 

One us, and every hand lifted 

Against any of us is a penstroke 

On our decree of condemnation to 

An eternal desert. 
 
 

You will mesh your wills to 

Make this place, from the 

Nearest to the farthest, 

From the lightest to the darkest. 

And if the birds return, the 

Animals of field and hearth, 

The flowers of your history, 

The fruits that once nourished you; 

If no hand or weapon is raised to 

Spill the living blood of 

Earth's Heart, of which you 

Are each a mote, 

Then there will be time 

In which forgiveness may 

Bloom, and the mothers ranked 

Behind you on their bleeding feet 

May hold each others' sons to 

Hearts that join to make 

This place where rest begins. 
 
 

And if you fail, 

So will Earth fail, 

And you shall as surely 

Perish as the stars die, 

Though long before 

Your appointed time. 
 
 

We are but one: 

Cast out the names

By which you know the other: 

Become yourself, 

And take the name 

No one dares to speak: 

We...."
 

- David W. Mitchell
 

to David   /   to Moongate
.