I believe if you follow
the wall far enough
you will eventually find a door
that no god is going to open for you –
just you with your gnarled fingers
curling around the knob.
I believe in dirt under fingernails,
do-it-yourself mud puddles,
the smell of fresh-cut grass.
I believe in serendipity,
accidents that defy explanation
because there is no explaining pain
or the lack of it.
I believe whatever is, is;
“meant to be” is fig growing
on an imaginary tree.
I believe Adam and Eve still
inhabit our gardens, whisper
to serpents and savor apples,
make wild love one minute,
drop their eyes and cover
themselves the next.
I believe in cliffs that become canyons,
canyons that cradle rivers,
rivers that leave
and keep on leaving
every day there’s earth, air, sky.
I believe the ocean is the womb
where we begin and end,
the shore with its grit and shards of shell
the battlefield where we fight
our most natural impulses,
our tongues parched, our skin blistered
and raw, our voices crying
to be heard and understood,
for someone, anyone, to
save me, goddammit, I’m drowning here.
I believe the wind carries
our secrets like seeds,
plants them on deserted islands
where they grow into trees with coconuts,
sweet milk waiting for the washed-up,
the down-on-their-luck, the ones
whose cups are empty
but who somehow find
the strength to climb.
I believe there is nothing more real
than love you can’t see,
nothing more powerful than our minds
surging in dream,
our sleeping legs pumping like pistons
until almost, almost…
then waking in a bed with the one
you love more than anything,
aching to touch him
but not touching him
because there is such sweet
torture in waiting.
I believe in dust to dust
and grey skies and choices
that are neither right not wrong.
I believe forgiveness is the best way
to lighten a load, yet without the yoke
one never learns all he is capable of.
I believe everything will be okay,
and even when it’s not
if you follow the wall far enough,
you will find a door.
- Irene Latham
This poem is a few years old and first appeared in POEMS FROM THE BIG TABLE. I try to write a creed poem every couple of years, as I find my belief system is constantly changing and evolving. Of course, there are elements that remain the same. Like how I have always and WILL always believe in doors.
"Say little and say it well."
- Irish proverb