#1000Speak for Compassion

I’m thinking about compassion today/joining with 1000 voices, speaking about/Compassion/that word we say/that can seem so easy//

Com+passion/suffering with/Being prompted to alleviate the suffering of others./Bearing with another in their ordeal./The Golden Rule of doing unto others that which we would have done unto us./The potential of all humans:/to be/compassionate …

And who are these others?/How far can we open in our embrace?/How far can we extend our circle of compassion?

Albert Schweitzer‘s  ‘Reverence for Life’:

“Reverence for Life says that the only thing we are really sure of is that we live and want to go on living. This is something that we share with everything else that lives, from elephants to blades of grass—and, of course, every human being. So we are brothers and sisters to all living things, and owe to all of them the same care and respect, that we wish for ourselves.”

James Brabazon (Author of the Biography of Albert Schweitzer)

Poeming it with Gandhi in mind:

I want to realise identity with all life,

even with such things as crawl upon earth.


From my sequence ‘Imagining the Full Hundred’:


When we picked our first sprouts for supper,
somebody said: Soak them in salt water for the bugs.
So I left them for an hour in a covered pan.

Later, when I lifted the lid, the sprouts had become
bobbing islands in an ocean,
on which
the dwellers had gathered, survivors of the flood.

There were slugs, worms, and baby wood lice
balanced on the backs of bigger wood lice.

It was      a community in crisis.

And what could I do,
gawping over the rim of that world, but become


I am sweeping the stone-slab patio, when a beetle
plummets from somewhere up and lands with a pip
just ahead of my broom. I home in for a look:
there are more legs than me and a shell,
but the symmetry is still recognisable.

The legs paddle the air. The beetle rocks on its back.
You can see the head working, the antennae waving.
Then, with a flip, the little someone is squat
on her feet, and ambling off towards the steps.

The Jains sweep at their paths
and how much weeping do they do
in their love for Life?

Fiona Owen, from Imagining the Full Hundred    

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