The Edge

Every day we march closer to the edge.

One by one, our uncertain steps, though they may aim elsewhere, take us forward.

We watch those ahead of us in line. Their steps never falter, though we might wish them to.

Then, they drop from view.

And still, we march forward.

As we do so, the scenery changes, slightly.

As we grow closer to the edge, we begin to notice the landscape beyond.

We find that we do not really want to go.

Still we march forward.

Once we are close enough to notice the details of the edge, we begin looking back.

We see the faces behind us, their fear growing with their understanding.

We envy their place in line: they have so much more time.

They envy ours: our suffering and uncertainty will be over sooner.

We begin frantically to distract ourselves with word games, songs, banter, and reminiscence about our favorite commercials.

We are still moving.

Now we are quite close. A roar, like a waterfall, can be heard from beyond the edge.

We have to sing louder, laugh harder, just to keep from sobbing.

Some fall to their knees, and yet still are carried forward.

Some go over in a furious struggle, facing backward, refusing to look, angry at the arrangement.

Others pump their fists, or scream, or make obscene gestures.

The person in front of me bows her head, briefly. She has long, dark, wavy hair. The stray hairs tremble in a breeze from beyond.

She slowly spreads her arms.

I am next.

I look over the edge.

There is a radiant smile awaiting me, on a face I have not seen in decades.

I look back, and blow a kiss to my children.

I look ahead, and let myself fall toward the embrace of all who have awaited me.

--Mr. Gobley


A Note to Karen's Daughter's Friend (a post mysteriously eaten by Blogger on 2/4/06)

You go on forever.

Your breath
Goes all the way back
To the First Breath.

Your heart
Is keeping a beat
That started
Before the Earth
Was cool enough
To stand upon.

Your mind
Knows no bounds.

And your body
Contains the secrets
And the wisdom
Of the ancients,
And the stories
Of the struggles
Of all
Who brought you
To be.

Do away with this,
And you forfeit
Your chance
To keep the beat
And spread the love
And give the gift
Known only toThe living.

Shall I tell you the secret
Of this gift?

It may be this:

Your pain is a blessing
A sacrament
A hotline to the heavens.

Because your pain is not
Just yours.

The pain you feel
Is the pain of others,
Calling out for your help.

You are sensitive enough
To receive the transmission,
To hear the cries for help.
You have power, you have wisdom--
But you're stuck in your head.

There are people begging for
Your help,
Your gifts,
Your love.

You can understand
Their pain
And heal
Their loneliness.

You are uniquely qualified
To lend aid,
Lavish love,
Offer hope,

And yet:
You are
Totally unable to help
If you are dead.

Keep the beat.
Fan the fire of life.
Warm the cold
And tired souls
That wait
Only on your strength,
Your beauty,
Your wit.

End it,
And your death
Ends love,
Suffocates hope,
In souls
You've not yet
Even met.

When you meet them,
What will you say?

Meet them
And say:
I love you,
And I am here to help.

End it too soon,
And you will meet them
And all you will be able
To say is:
I am so sorry.

They smile at you now,
These wounded souls,
They see hope in you,
They wait on you.

You are the answer
To their prayers.

Go to them.

Bring them back to life,
And they will
Do the same for you.

--Mr. Gobley



i click an icon that says
and i am faced

with emptiness

i inhale

i exhale

my touch
meets your gaze

vast oceans
of white
off screen

i feel your presence

and reach toward you
with prayers

never underestimate
or fail
to appreciate

that you too
have a
Create icon

for contact

--Mr. Gobley


Gifts to the Silent Watcher

In a great city.

The sounds
of human striving
never cease,
never fail
to penetrate
the sighs
of the radiators
and the morse code
of the water pipes.

there is a tree
that seems,
through the
battered window,
to be bent with age
or beckoning for help.

upon stepping
i am shocked:
the air is gentle,
the people

The trees
are gently pressed
into precise little parks
or fenced sanctuaries --
like glittered squares in
an Advent calendar --
their holiness
to the silent

There is
no place
so lonely,
so rushed,
and yet so full
of Being,
ceaselessly unfolding:

humanity exerts
its restless will,
while making room
for Nature,
which waits,

to that silent watcher,
smiles and waves.

--Mr. Gobley