The Voice Within, The Voice Beyond

This morning, as the bird sang through me,
i regretted my place inside a cube of drywall,
but rejoiced at my place in this world,
where birds move music through us

And songs resonate in the cavities
Of our cares

i realized that when i am tired of singing
it is because i am not letting myself be sung

and when i am feeling wronged
it is because i resist the waters of compassion
which in time will set me aright.

Life in this world lives through us.
Love in this world is a current;
We, conductors.

Your sacred task
in this inch of Universe is

To Be
To Permit:

To let life live through you,
The Divine sing from beyond you
And reside within you.

To let yourself be an instrument,
You must, as thanks for being made,
Give yourself
Into the hands
Of the Maker of Music.

Your sacred tune will sing through you
And you will know the blessing
Known by all birds:

That the singer must be sung
In order for there
To be song.

--Mr. Gobley


All Is Said and Done

We travel on a thin wire
Suspended between two columns
Concealed from us:

The Column of Beginning,
From which we begin our journey;
And the Column of Ending,
From which we transfer to the next.

All is suspension and movement.

As we travel this transom,
We are buffeted by the winds
Of All That Is Said and Done:

The rush of Napoleon's charge
And the rustle and snap
Of laundry hung out
On a balcony in

The ice-fisherman's heater
As he sits on the frozen crust
Of the Boundary Waters;
And the lunch
Of the yak herdsman
On the steppes,
All dissolve slowly
Into waves of will

That now and always
Change what comes after.

All our aspiration
And ambition
Are expressed
In Doing
And Saying,

And it all reverberates,
Between the Columns,

So speak and act
With the care and deliberation
Of a nurse on the night watch:

Lives --
Most especially yours,
Now and hereafter --
Will be saved.

--Mr. Gobley


The Importance of Snow

We are snow --

We do not last forever,
No two are alike,
Yes, yes, i know all that --

But also:

It is made to fall,
And it falls.

It may rise up,
But only for an instant,
And only as a reminder,
A delicious delay
In its sealed fate;

It does not map its destiny,
Ponder its options,
Bemoan its passage
Or seek counseling for its fall.

It has a collective identity
And a single

But it is a dance
Of infinite steps,
A monotony
Of dizzying variety.

It is fun for those
Who are not busy;

It is water,

It just is.

And then it is not.

--Mr. Gobley


The New Office

Now, instead of woods and a pond,
There is a pebbled parapet
Outside my window,
And beyond it, a parking lot,
Vast and forbidding
As the Sahara,

Herring-boned with parking spaces,
Dotted with duck poop.

In other words,
The view is no longer sacred:
It is merely perfect.

From here -- the second floor --
i can see people
Put on their game faces,
Put up their cell phones.

From here, i see
Life being lived
At that thin threshold
Between dreams and duties,

A forgotten sliver of time
Wedged between facades;

It is all so terribly mundane,
So routine --

So brimming with the required:

A Mobius Strip,
An unending miracle
Such as few
Are privileged to behold.

--Mr. Gobley