I wrote these words to bear witness
to birth, sweet seed in its husk
of sorrow. Now their pain and foreboding
stagger me, editing. Am I merely a man
with a dark vision? Or is it that we live
truly in the Belly of the Beast,
where exploitation breeds, where the Yang
rules all of the captive lands
and the Capitalist Armies of Night
forbid us to take their name seriously,
here in the kitchen of Death
where we gather at first light with torn cloth banners,
unpracticed hands, and prepare,
as our energy heats the waters,
to accept the new child
with his badge of blood.


This book is for you who were beside me there,
in all the lonely places.

12 February 1971

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