To Not Let The Heart Break. A poem by Dave Rock

It has to break the heart with joy and grief,
to be so free to do this.

Walk these streets marvelling at pale green leaves;
light-soaked nets stretching sutured chests,
reopening long-closed spaces for breathing.

Sift sand’s hidden artworks through bare toes,
taste delicious misery at such beautiful bodies;
strangers, so close to me,
here in the same sunshine and ocean,
here in the same quarantine,
same caul of desire just beneath our faces,
elastic in the gleam.

It has to break the heart with joy and grief,
to do this while others cannot.
To know one day, any day,
all this will be taken too.

Break the heart with joy and grief,
to be so rich to do this.

Stroll unthinking, pluck from these shelves feasts
that would beggar the banquets of bygone kings.

From pliant screens feast upon teachings,
fantasy lands, soundtracks,
hate speech, mirages, healings;
rising tides which render
our ancestors speechless.

Too many heavens and hells to tread water in.
The impossible-keeping-up
churns the mind to enchanted,
neurotic mush.

Has to break the heart to have this,
while others have not.

Break the heart with gratitude and rage,
to be so safe.

Live within four thick, steady walls,
the most dangerous folks
ghosts in our own nervous systems,
clearing their throats in the vacuum.

While others are locked down with abusers.
While others trudge dust-choke roads
back to ancestral villages
where they may well starve on arrival.
While others have been locked down years already,
in refugee camps, prisons, proxy wars,
the ghettoes which keep our dream lives afloat.
While others search for last breaths.

Has to break the heart with gratitude and rage,
to be so safe, today at least.

The privilege of experiencing pandemic as a gift.
While others are so hard stretched juggling children
juggling duties, juggling demons, their own needs
have become foreign languages to them.

To get to unwind, heal.

‘Spend’ days grieving,
reflecting on ‘my’ purpose,
intoxicated on spring;
billions of years arriving
with effortless flourishes
of cherry blossoms, birdsongs,
chlorophyll frescoes in the eyes,
meditation by great bodies of water
which hold more hope
than a thousand and one
viral tales of human ingenuity.

Every teaspoon of ocean
is home to millions of viruses,
not only harmless to us,
part of life’s composition,
of which we are part.

A split-second spent seeing
how much life dwells
in any given drop of water,
crumb of soil,
dances with every imaginary angel
on our always teeming fingertips,
might tear the masks away.

Globalisation spawns pandemics;
the same force which force-fed
our tortured abundance for decades
while gifting pollution and poverty
onto the backs of precisely those
who suffer most now.

Mother Earth is showing us
there are no longer places
for empires of daydreams
to export shadows to.

To look this in the face….

…and not stay see-sawing
between shutdown and shame,
but instead embrace love and grief,
amongst which all things
may see each others’s faces again.

To not marvel at this single day,
it has to break the heart to live at all.


Dave Rock is a writer and storyteller, who also teaches flow writing and flow speaking, find out more at


  1. No idea where my last comment ended up! Posted on Facebook but can’t see it. However, I want you to know how much I appreciate what you do. Your words perfectly explain that which I have been unable and desperate to articulate, you “Rock’d” my world. Wonderful, perfect peace, someone else feels as I do.
    Thank you Dave, I sincerely hope you find the niche and platform required to refill the sometimes tired and cynical hearts that I as 1 carry. Much love and thanks x

  2. I just found you through the Embodiment Conference your work really speaks to me. I am looking forward to learning more and opening myself more to reach the places I have not accessed before. Thank you for your beautiful words that reached me at just the right point in time.

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