The Flag & The Hands are a World, poems by Rafael Jesús González

      The Flag

      At our best
      we show our true colors,
      fly the flag that stands
      for our deepest, broadest
      allegiance to each other,
      to the Earth holy & diverse.

      These are my colors:

      purple of my sorrows, my remorse,
      my shame for betrayals of the heart,
      most often of omission,
      through weariness or fear.

      blue of my memories
      that make my history of wings
      that soar to the mountains
      & drop to the ravines,
      complex topography of myself.

      green of my hopes that wing
      my desires & lend will
      to my acts, that inform
      even my opposition
      to outrage.

      yellow of my joy that tastes
      of the sun, exultation in the
      wealth of the senses,
      root of my power & my love.

      orange of my abandon, my surrender
      to my living, mindless of laws
      that would fetter the steps
      of my wildest dances.

      red of my love that colors all
      & is the root & flower & fruit,
      the heart of my belief
      & what I know of truth.

      This is my flag;
      its colors run,
      diffuse at the edges,
      blend, shade
      into hues, half-tones
      difficult to name.

      The tongues that praise it
      are so many, so varied, & so sweet
      their chorus rivals the birds’
      & silences the angels in their flight.

      Known everywhere
      as sign of peace & joy,
      let this be our flag;
      its colors dance.

      The Hands are a World

      We do not hold the world in our hands
      but our hands are the world
      they impose upon the Earth —
      be it with a caress
      or with a blow.

      Let us hold hands
      & make the world whole.


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Francesco Levato
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