Poetry

Dear Jim,

How truly delightful it was to heave your voice. How wonderful to have such moments. If only the phone rates aren't so expensive.

After months of being in the desert, there it was. An oasis of our friendship. Now I have energy to last me through the next desert storms.

On the opposite page of this letter is a xeroxed copy of an article on the US bases. You should find it an interesting piece. As you know a treaty must be signed by mid-September. Until now, the negotiations are still taking place. God has spoken through the volcano. The US government refuses to listen to God's voice. As usual. So we are in for more explosions.

By the time you get this letter the anniversary event may have already passed. I sent you a greeting earlier; I hope it reached you on time. I had had thought of writing you a poem. Now, I'll make an attempt.

see the sojourners on the road?

look, my beloved
can you see
the sojourners on the road
coming our way?
like pilgrims,
they have now reached
our cross
roads.

watch, my beloved
how they look.
how they walk.
can you see the light
on their faces?
can you tell what mountains
those feet have crossed?
like pilgrims,
they need to rest at
our cross
roads.

come, my beloved
let's light a fire.
fill the water jugs.
tune in the guitar
can you hear them
whistling a tune?
like pilgrims,
they de(lightfully) serve
a feast at
our cross
roads.

Karl Gaspar was a Filipino poet, teacher, lay theologian, human rights activist, and ex-political prisoner under the Marcos regime when this poem appeared. This is a letter Karl sent to Jim Wallis. We offer it here to all of you who are "sojourners on the road."

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Sojourners Magazine February-March 1992
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