Nobody heard him, the dead man,
But still he lay moaning:
I was much further out than you thought
And not waving but drowning.
Poor chap, he always loved larking
And now he’s dead
It must have been too cold for him his heart gave way,
Oh, no no no, it was too cold always
(Still the dead one lay moaning)
I was much too far out all my life
And not waving but drowning.
To go in the dark with a light is to know the light.
To know the dark, go dark. Go without sight,
and find that the dark, too, blooms and sings,
and is traveled by dark feet and dark wings.
Now we must look about us. Near at hand
cloud like a fist has closed on all the hills
and by this meager daylight on our land
we see just this, and this, and not beyond.
The sodden trees emerge and stand revealed;
we must acknowledge each one as it is,
stripped and stark, its basic structure clear,
the last leaves fallen, summer’s season dead.
And day on day the soft mist softly falls
as the long rain drives across the field
and all the while what we had seen beyond
is lost and shut as if it never were.
And we look closely at each other now,
the bleak roots, black grass, and the muddy road,
the litter that we never cleared away,
the broken flowers from a summer’s day –
Oh, stark and clearly we must look within
to weigh at last our purity and sin.
Oh, lovely hills in sunlight far away,
Oh, curving valley where the river sings!
Remembering, we live this discipline,
and hope still beats about us with strong wings.
No better than a dog, I am
easily fooled and overruled, a slave
to my sack of gut, nose aquiver
with the season. Sometimes, I wince
at the weight of your hand; sometimes,
I importune into whatever cleft
comes closest. I am not the best exemplar
of my breed and can only hope myself
familiar enough to keep my place,
endearingly fond, so that while I stare
mournfully at the front door,
you summon me from the back.
I counted my years
& realized that I have
Less time to live by,
Than I have lived so far.
I feel like a child who won a pack of candies: at first he ate them with pleasure
But when he realized that there was little left, he began to taste them intensely.
I have no time for endless meetings
where the statutes, rules, procedures & internal regulations are discussed,
knowing that nothing will be done.
I no longer have the patience
To stand absurd people who,
despite their chronological age,
have not grown up.
My time is too short:
I want the essence,
my spirit is in a hurry.
I do not have much candy
In the package anymore.
I want to live next to humans,
very realistic people who know
How to laugh at their mistakes,
Who are not inflated by their own triumphs
& who take responsibility for their actions.
In this way, human dignity is defended
and we live in truth and honesty.
It is the essentials that make life useful.
I want to surround myself with people
who know how to touch the hearts of those whom hard strokes of life
have learned to grow with sweet touches of the soul.
Yes, I’m in a hurry.
I’m in a hurry to live with the intensity that only maturity can give.
I do not intend to waste any of the remaining desserts.
I am sure they will be exquisite,
much more than those eaten so far.
My goal is to reach the end satisfied
and at peace with my loved ones and my conscience.
We have two lives
& the second begins when you realize you only have one.