The Next Phase
I’ve detached myself from all I deemed most dear
That I might all the better understand you,
Your final moment of my unbecoming, when
That weary stillness takes us both in hand.
So many words that still are left unsaid,
So much sorrow unresolved awaits your nod,
A fleeting smile quicksilvers on my lips –
I rise and stammer, “Ready, I am ready, G-d.”
Everything I dream
must begin and end-
then why am I between,
waiting for a lost voice,
Wound and bound and cobwebbed
in time gone grey,
while the breath of eternity
riffles through me like the pages of a book?
And at the margin of the pages
is the purple light
of all things not yet come into being,
all things passing away.
My dream hovers at the head
of grief that threads the fears
of a sightless world and leads it
to the genesis of human tears.
I’ll take green meadows with me,
Scents of the grape-blossom from father’s
The narrow lanes between the rye,
Where my childish footsteps linger.
I shall take white, feathery clouds,
Where my head may find a softer place,
And as a head-rest for The Silence,
My mother’s weary, tender smile.
And with me shall I take the breath of
Their softest form, their purest sorrow,
With the final tear,
Nov. 6, 1972.
All that was true and put forth leaves
anew each day,
the tree of ever-new understanding
so far away,
so far –
and I with all my will clutch the word,
tail of the imaginary bird
that lifts me over
and gulfs the night
to the heights
to the firmament
where a new genesis is being dreamt
by the sleeping stars.
as if they’d known it
the alien world
that made me the dividing line
between today and yesterday
Things and people
no one needs
stand beside me now
for my word to take them
to the border where
the other side of time begins.
8 May 1974
And even words fade
under autumn’s weight
and die in a final gasp
like the leaves under our feet.
This day of shame sweeps
together the fog of mountains and valleys
and covers exposed branches
and its own expiring face.
All the signs
I have read
in the clefts
of the earth
have fooled me-
I am estranged from the sky-
I am only close
to that great solitude
when the world around me
grows and matures
into the wisdom of silence.