Now That We Have Tasted Hope

 My first post today took up the theme of Jesus as the bread of life.

I thought it might be worthwhile to follow up on the theme of what we hunger for and what lengths we would be prepared to go to satisfy our need of spiritual food.

It's easy for me to satisfy my need for food and my freedom to express my Christian faith has never put my life at a direct risk but it is very different for so many other people.

               Photo Reuters/Ahmed Jadallah] Tripoli residents find ways to deal with the growing bread deficit.

Libyan poet and recent winner of the Academy of American Poets Fellowship Khaled Mattawa in his latest poem on the revolution in Libya ( and elsewhere in the Middle East), speaks of the hungry hope experienced by people after their first taste of freedom from political tyranny.......

Now That We Have Tasted Hope

Now that we have tasted hope
Now that we have come out of hiding,
Why would we live again in the tombs we’d made out of our souls?

And the sundered bodies that we’ve reassembled with prayers and consolations,
What would their torn parts be other than flesh?

Now that we have tasted hope
And dressed each other’s wounds with the legends of our oneness
Would we not prefer to close our mouths forever shut on the wine
That swilled inside them?

Having dreamed the same dream,
Having found the water that gushed behind a thousand mirages,
Why would we hide from the sun again
Or fear the night sky after we’ve reached the ends of darkness,
Live in death again after all the life our dead have given us?

Listen to me Zow’ya, Beida, Ajdabya, Tobruk, Nalut, Derna, Musrata, Benghazi, Zintan,
Listen to me houses, alleys, courtyards, and streets that throng my veins,
Some day soon
In your freed light and in the shade of your proud trees,
Your excavated heroes will return to their thrones in your martyrs’ squares,
Lovers will hold each other’s hands.

I need not look far to imagine the nerves dying rejecting the life that blood sends them.
I need not look deep into my past to seek a thousand hopeless vistas.
But now that I have tasted hope
I have fallen into the embrace of my own rugged innocence.

How long were my ancient days?
I no longer care to count.
How high were the mountains in my ocean’s fathoms?
I no longer care to measure.
How bitter was the bread of bitterness?
I no longer care to recall.

Now that we have tasted hope,
Now that we have lived on this hard-earned crust,
We would sooner die than seek any other taste to life,
Any other way of being human.

"Which do you think is resurrection, the soul chiseling its way back into the body, or the body like a doughnut rewrapping itself around a hole?" 
More poetry from Khaled Mattawa here 

ReadTheSpirit Editor David Crumm reports:
"The world's sea of repression is ripe for self expression."

Click here for a remarkable interactive map which shows the large number of countries still without freedom of the press.
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