Swallow Your Flaming Arrows

Which virus has plagued us collectively, daily, since the beginning of mankind?

Which virus has killed more?

The viral rage of judgment and self-righteousness,

Or the Coronavirus?

Who is vulnerable in this terminable life?

Who is vulnerable to the insults and words of mankind?

Is man really so kind with destructive tongue his throng?

Unleashed, unchartered, untamed.

Masks try to hide the pride bearing his name.

Masks to protect the vulnerable please keep in place,

Obstructing our shouts and berating of mankind.

Who is vulnerable to sticks and stones?

Name one never hurt by them.

Name one not hurt more profoundly by a name.

Oh, the pangs of voices in our heads,

Of memorialized reverberations—their voices beating us down….

Voices behind the masks still ruminate in our heads.

And whose ears hear reverberations of our voices?

…and of our critical silences heard louder still?

Do our tongues torch everyone we meet?

High-oxygen fire burns fiercely blue.

Hot cold demeaning tones, threats, and names.

The tongue is a deadly strangling fire.

Mask off.

The face of truth exposed.

The virus of the tongue can be transposed.

Time to rethink how to love our neighbor,

Peacemaking is in everyone’s favor.

Restrain the fiery darts of judgment and self-righteousness.

Mask judgment, mask critique, mask what you think makes you more sleek.

No one is “better than”.

The virus always lurking, without pondering whom to attack—

Multiplying its invisible force exponentially—killing without a sword.

Its weapon almost immeasurable, its effect largely ignored.


A candle burns a flame, too.

Contained, restrained, beautiful.

Lighting the darkness with hue.

Contained, it is not deadly. Contained, the flame allures.

When does the flame escape you?

Refrain, restrain, regain your peace.

Call a ceasefire on your tongue.

Time to call a truce.

The battle is against yourself, more so than another.

Unarm yourself to unharm yourself.

Peace is within the light of your candle; blaze illuminating.

Be a light in the fight.

Call on your senses.

Taste the goodness of the world; swallow your flaming arrows.

Hear that all humanity is created equal, not excluding you.

See others with compassion; explore another’s soul.

Reach out to touch and unify.

Waft the sweet-smelling scent of your candle resplendent.

Call in your troops.

Mask the tongue. Suffocate the hate.

Unmask your flame of peace to shine your shade of light.

All hues welcome, for light is not light without color.

Together we forge peaceful paths.

Together we can tame the virus of the tongue of hate.

Choose this day to love.

To rise above this Flight for Life.

Image by MasterTux from Pixabay


  1. So beautiful and powerful.
    Another one I’m printing to read again and again!
    Thank you for your insight and inspiration.

    1. Thank you so much Connie! Lots of metaphors and double meanings, but hopefully understandable enough to provoke thought and thought-filled solutions. Feel free to share!

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