In the wearing of rock by water,
We see both precision and randomness;

In art, we see both painstaking exactitude
And impassioned improvisation.

Within structures, we play;
Within rules, we challenge order.

All this is done
Because it is how
All was made,

How we were conceived,
How love is kindled,

How the Earth revolves,
How the Sun rises:

Never the same Sun,
And yet always the Sun we know.

And so the message to you is:
Remake each day

As a revived and elevated image
Of the First Day;

Make tomorrow a heightened expression
Of what you had hoped for this afternoon.

And so, rung by rung
Along Jacob's ladder

You will rise with the Angels
Toward the most perfect

Of imperfections:
A life of meaning.

--Mr. Gobley



Who knew you would be blessed in this way?

Years were wound up like spools of silk;
You raised children
Watched friends suffer
And a brother die;
The world was an angry fool,
And you suffered it
With a joke, a cigarette,
A poem.

Days passed in their thousands
And on you went,
Given time to ponder the miracle
Of your eventual, silent passing --

But not today. Today there is more to know,
And still the thirst for knowing it.

You, who have known a length of days,
Wake now with wonder
That a new day can reveal
Its unique sameness

And that life's unkindnesses
All hold these kindnesses within:

For the parade of heartbeats
Marching happily

--Mr. Gobley


In Praise of Rejection

i thank you, says my small i, for confirming my worst and most deeply cherished fears about this thing i call my "self".

i appreciate your validation of my lack of worth. After all, there is no "I" to be valued.

It is precisely here that i fix my concentration: on the story i tell myself about why i have been rejected.

The insanity of it, the injustice, the demeaning and depressing heaviness of it, melt under scrutiny.

Leaving only the i, which also vanishes.

Had i sought validation from you and found it, my delusions of grandeur would have been fertilized, only to grow like beanstalks out of the fertile ground of my desires.

But as it is, you have let me know in no uncertain terms that my worth, whatever it may be, is not mine, and is not yours.

This is a gift of inestimable value.

i will take this gift with me to my grave.

Not as a burden, but as a seed of wisdom, a bolt of en-lightning, which in an instant can revive my gratitude for life, and relieve me from believing, as we all sometimes do, that i must be more than i am.

In the meantime, it will help me sleep better.

--Mr. Gobley


Revelation from a Stopped Watch

What was urgent
Has become trivial;

What was compacted
Into cubes of time

Has elongated into
Ellipses . . .

The Sun moves in imperceptible increments,
And, without my watch,

So does my day:

One task sliding into, elliding with
The next,

Moving without
Seeming to move,

Until at last, at the very end,
The sun and i

Can be seen sinking
Beneath our horizons,

Possessed of the silent fervor
Of the psalmist . . .

--Mr. Gobley


The Eve of Letting Go

This is the Eve of Letting Go.
This is that evening
When the Sun carves
A line in the sky,
Like the line that appears on a
Pregnant woman's belly,
Heralding a momentous event,
A life-changing life.

This is the evening of rest and restoration,
Of magnanimity and meaning,
Of holiness and wholeness.

This is the time when all is forgiven,
When love is made
And hurts are healed:
This is a shard of paradise
Dropped in our cupped and blistered palms.

This is the Eve of Letting Go:
All is released, all is restored,
And for this nano-now,
All is healed and revealed.

--Mr. Gobley