Common Ground

This poem by John Daniel is one of my favorites.

Common Ground by John Daniel

Everywhere on earth, wet beginnings:

Fur, feather, scale, shell,skin,bone, blood,

Like an infant discovering sound after sound
A voice is finding its tongue

And we, in whom earth chose to light
A clear flame of consciousness,
Are only beginning to learn the language—

We who are made of the ash of stars,
Who carry the sea we were born in,
Who spent millions of years learning to breathe,
Who shivered in fear at the reptiles’ feet,
Who trained eyes and hands in the trees
And came down, slowly straightening
To look over the grasses, to see
That the world not only is
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . But is beautiful—
We are Earth learning to see itself,
To hear, touch, and taste. What it wants to be
No one knows: finding a way
In starlight and dark, it begins in beauty,
. . . . .  . .  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . It asks only time.

One thought on “Common Ground

  1. As soon as I saw the name JOHN DANIEL, i wondered if this is the same John Daniel, owner of Fithian Press of Santa Barbara, California, who published my book of light verse titled SEX SCELLS in 1994. I’ve lost track of him, but if it’s the same man, I can’t say enough good things about him. He was a pleasure to work with. Several of the poems in that book went on to be published in THE RANDOM HOUSE TREASURY OF LIGHT VERSE in 1995.

    I don’t see any mention of Fithian Press in your John Daniel link or in his interview, but I still have a feeling it might be the same man.

    Liked by 1 person

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