The Living and the Dead

When you are quiet,
You can hear the living
And the dead.

Humble yourself
And quiet your mind.

Then, suspend your consciousness
At the curving crossroads
Of our atmosphere.
There, the cries
Of the living and the dead
Will rise to you:

The sad and ceaseless sigh,
The last breath of the dying;
The outraged gasp and heroic cry
Of the newly born.

It goes on, this does,
In an endless cycle,
The gasps, the cries,
The releases and the urgent taking hold:

The world works so hard
At making and unmaking
That you can hear it,
Rising from every continent,
If you can just float above them for a moment.

You are a part of this play:
You have shouted your arrival
And you will sigh
Your departure,

But for now,
Just for this brief minute,
You are suspended,
At the edge of our atmosphere,
And rising toward you,
Ever toward you,

Are the cries
Of the living
And the dead...

--Mr. Gobley


Richard Lawrence Cohen said...

This poem makes me see that it really is a heroic thing to be born and live when you know you're goiong to die. I also love the lines:

The world works so hard
At making and unmaking
That you can hear it...

Not knowing your choice of faith if any, Mr. Gobley, please let me wish you a happy end of year and a healthy, prosperous, fulfilling new one.

Mr. Gobley said...

Dearest Richard:

Always a blessing to hear from you. May this equinox be an auspicious turning for you, and for us all!

amba said...

Solstice, you mean. Call it the inequinox.

This is a real beauty.