Marie Howe’s new book, The Kingdom of Ordinary Time, is an amazing addition to our vocabulary of love and hate, forgiveness and revenge. As the poet Tom Sleigh says, “Her language is always deeply rooted in the social world, and it never turns away from the most difficult moral problems.” In this book, her poems about the war within us between light and shadow, vision and violence, are sometimes terrifying, often funny, and always illuminating.

After the Movie

My friend Michael and I are walking home arguing about the movie.
He says that he believes a person can love someone
and still be able to murder that person.

I say, No, that’s not love. That’s attachment.
Michael says, No, that’s love. You can love someone, then come to a day

when you’re forced to think “it’s him or me”
think “me” and kill him.

I say, Then it’s not love anymore.
Michael says, It was love up to then though.

I say, Maybe we mean different things by the same word.
Michael says, Humans are complicated: love can exist even in the murderous

I say that what he might mean by love is desire.
Love is not a feeling, I say. And Michael says, Then what is it?

We’re walking along West 16th Street—a clear unclouded night—and I hear
my voice
repeating what I used to say to my husband: Love is action, I used to say to

Simone Weil says that when you really love you are able to look at someone
you want to eat and not eat them.

Janis Joplin says, take another little piece of my heart now baby.

Meister Eckhart says that as long as we love any image we are doomed to live
in purgatory.

Michael and I stand on the corner of 6th Avenue saying goodnight.
I can’t drink enough of the tangerine spritzer I’ve just bought—

again and again I bring the cold can to my mouth and suck the stuff from
the hole the flip top made.

What are you doing tomorrow? Michael says.
But what I think he’s saying is “You are too strict. You are a nun.”

Then I think, Do I love Michael enough to allow him to think these things of
me even if he’s not thinking them?

Above Manhattan, the moon wanes, and the sky turns clearer and colder.
Although the days, after the solstice, have started to lengthen,

we both know the winter has only begun.

Our program “Getting Revenge and Forgiveness” is available here at beginning Thursday, November 6th. Share your stories.

(Poem reprinted with permission of the author.)

Share Your Reflection



I thoroughly enjoyed the program broadcast today regarding the subject of forgiveness. I was fascinated by the type of research that Professor McCollough is doing. What caught my attention was the "biological evidence" of the need for humanity to adopt many of the principles that religions in general espouse. Absolutely fascinating.

I was happy to note the intersection of biological evidence and the teachings of most religions.

That should not be a surprise. Science and religion are in harmony with each other. Religion should not accept things that are contrary to science, because religion and science are the expressions of the same truth. They are the sides of the same coin.

this topic is perfect for me, since Lord has convected me that I have not forgiven people that I claimed has injured me emotionally. I have heard fromthe Spirit how I could receive "double portion" of Abba's favors when I have not done His will; to forgive.
Keep up with your great job. GeorgeS

Revenge heals all wounds some scientists say human beings are genetically wired for it. Dont feel guilty about the pain you are about to bestow on the one who hurt you, they deserve it. Take your time, contemplate the punishment to fit the crime and plot your moves. You will be healed of the silent fury that runs through your veins. Your sleepless nights and mental scars will fade.