Selected Poems‎ > ‎




We think we are

the highest of the animals,

beings unique and apart

because we have a voice-box

and can express ourselves

through what we call language.


But somehow we have forgotten

how to communicate.

We evade it, deflect it,

turn aside from it.

We loathe to discuss our differences,

fearing to offend, avoiding conflict.


Yet without the skill of speaking civilly

to those with whom we disagree,

how can we confront challenge

and create a reality

which meets our present needs?


What would the framers of our constitution

think of a public and private world

in which dialogue is shunned

and compromise a forgotten tool?


Could this country have been established

without productive argument?

Would we have our present framework

without vigorous participatory discourse?


At a crossroads in human history,

we must welcome and consider all voices,

hone our skills for managing dispute,

use our voices again

in the way they were meant to be used,

learn to move forward together.

from "Human Variations"