How to Say Goodbye

First, you bestow a lasting kindness.

Then, you express gratitude.

You smile throughout;

You heal as you leave.

Remember that,
As you cause pain,
So must you liberate:

There is no captivity
So cruel
As an abrupt
And unforgiving

As you prepare others,
So shall you be prepared;
As you heal,
So shall you be healed.

And humor:
Do not forget humor,
The greatest balm
Against bathos,
The crowning glory
Of humility.

If you can,
Depart quietly,

Sing praises
And stitch a hymn
Of light and dark
Across the
Compassionate cosmos.

As you go,
Leave a space,
A rest between notes;
Let your last steps
Be the steps
Of a joyous dance,

A flight toward freedom
Whose trail tapers
To sweet nothing
In the vastness

--Mr. Gobley


A Dream of Dying

I dreamt of our death,
Yours and mine.

Our synapses,
Clogged with messages,
Could not convey
The urgency
Of the moment
To our hurried minds.

Free men and women,
We held a lamp
In a hurricane,
And imagined it
To be
A beacon
That would never go dark.

And i said to you,
On the eve
Of the end
Of our great experiment,

Only this:

The majesty of our minds
And the purpose
Of our souls

Will be extinguished in fire.

Our eyes, filmed over,
Will go entirely dark.

Only the sound
Of our pursuers
Will be heard,
Coming for us
Through the woods.

i awoke and was relieved,
But not entirely,

Because, though awake
These many hours,
i still
Hear them coming.

--Mr. Gobley


Bed of Nails

Hauled before my maker
On a sled of steel wool,
i cry for mercy.

Were it not for
The real suffering
In the world,
Mine would snatch
Greatness from the heavens.

i reflect:
As we crawled from dank pools,
Flapped toward Eden with our fins,
Were we not constantly
In mortal agony?

Was our pain
Not simply
A fact,
A given?

As we rise
Rung by rung
On Jacob's ladder
We begin to forget
The primordial bog
In which its legs
Are sunk.

i will not rest tonight.
i will be aflame with fever, but
i will pray for peace,
And will gladly suffer
In my small, comfortable way,

So that, in time,
i may again rejoice
With all
Your children.

--Mr. Gobley