Sunday, June 15, 2008

Visionary Poet

In Thy Darkest Hours

Shine on, eternal fire–burn
Alone amid the void;
If none should love thee, thou must yearn
that someone sees thy Joy.

When night's vast desert frames thy soul
An island in the darkest sea,
Then a star must shine alone
Ere that lovers look for thee.

– F. Carroll Harrison

I met Freddie under the 14th St. bridge and he shared his poem with me. Looking implausibly youthful, he told me that he became a father at 15 and has 9 children, 4 of whom he raised on his own after his wife left. He has been homeless for 2 years and devotes his life and passion to creating poetry.

I loved my time in Charlottesville, and although I didn't find a "story" like I'd hoped during the workshop with David Alan Harvey, I made lots of new friends who touched me deeply. Talking with Freddie, Wanda, Jimmy and other folks living on the street gave me a profound appreciation for the common struggle we have as human beings, searching for a balance between security and freedom, hoping that life will let us be who we are and connect with what we love.

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