Jay Ramsay writes a poem about Jo Berry and Patrick Magee
FOR JO BERRY
(and Patrick Magee)
The world will be saved by women in the West
—H.H. The Dalai Lama
He killed your father, but you forgave him.
How did you do that ? How could he do that ?
The question searing like the bomb-blast wreckage
all your inner life gathering to this moment—
these days of sleepless wondering.
You wondered, but you did not judge.
Strange days in your broken heart held you
and so you stand in front of us now
in the higher self of your beauty and your being.
You wanted to kill him, you wanted to meet him.
How did he come to be like this
a teenage lover of Martin Luther King ?
You kept wondering. No one was listening.
And in the cold shoulder of no one listening
the heart closes, the demon enters in:
peace becomes violence, people cease to exist.
The moment hangs
—the shock-wave still suspended—
you knew you had to meet him. Him, the other
as we have to meet them the world over.
There is no other way but wondering
what is it like to be you, Patrick McGee ?
The rage of not being listened to and seen,
Grenfell Tower erupting.
So finally you met him: you talked three hours,
changing him as you both changed by degrees:
a photo of you side by side, unsmiling by a breeze-block wall
dissolving in the daylight and the dark
in your heart’s deep fire and water.
Friends now; the miracle that happened still happening
and in front of us as we listen in rows
only the illusion of our difference
that is the severance in our heads.
Greater things than this shall ye also do…
he said it, you did it: our tears prove it.
Lover of truth, no other way
too late for anything less—we know—
than the heart’s own revolution.
24-26th Sept. 2017