The Hungry Bowl by Lorien Barlow

Give me the beginning of a story

that becomes a thousand stories

which do not unravel because of

half-truths in their beginning.

Give me a story I belong to.

Give me, in this hungry bowl

words that sink into the bone

and nourish the will to grow.

One day these words will be the ribs of a cathedral,

these thoughts will be the structures where I pray

to my god.

Give me work for my hands to do.

Thoughts never make or move

change or obstacles.

Hands are the instruments

that make sound in the world.

Hands are the midwives

of what the mind conceives.

Waste my hands and my thoughts are never born.

Give me a map

to navigate my life in this world.

How can your map be useful

if you don’t know where I come from?

How could you know

if you never visited me there?

Give me lessons

that don’t ask me to unlearn.

Don’t divide my trust between truth and father.

Give me lessons in the language of my mother.

Your cultivation is pulling me up by the root.

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