Wednesday, August 25, 2010

When the need to sing outweighs the need to say


When the need to sing outweighs the need to say,
When there’s no clear message to bear,
When the secrets are in and settled to dust,
Settled to rain, to footprints that lead away,
And are consigned to pages in my own dead hand,
What better day to dance with demons?

You unborn and you who wait, what new sorrow do you bring?
What triumph to tell? What past gray selves heaped upon the blaze?

Or do you come in emptiness as deep as my own,
And which, by its clever-sweet design, is full?

You want answers. I have none. I have fields and I have sun;
I have graveyards and I have clouds; but these are yours as well.

Except by the light of souls, I see no difference
Between those deemed wise and those called fools.
One holds a torch, the other smiles.
And yet a word from both can save us all.

Ask a child. He will know. Ask the river or ask the road.
Ask a daughter, or a son. Ask the eyes of one you love.

I stand by night and all its glory. But day’s a veil I adore;
And faith, where there is none; glad pilgrims; those who mourn.

Except by the light of souls, I see no difference, none at all,
In the blackness down a well of living water,
Where to fall is everything we need, one upon the other,
And to call out is the speed of silence to open arms.

But no one asks who’s content to know, nor troubles.
In the distance, angels light upon the broken rocks, and furies;
The surf is up. A bell tolls. It’s time to go.

(first publication)


Updates:
“When the need to sing outweighs the need to say” added to Poems, Slightly Used.

In the Forum: imaginary cigarettes.

9 comments:

Anthony Duce said...

Liked the imagery portrayed and the varying points of view, wondering which to follow to the end.

William Michaelian said...

Thanks, Anthony. It does seem to have a mind of its own — more, at this juncture, than I can claim for myself.

Joseph Hutchison said...

This is simply one of the best poems you've written, at least among those I've read! It breathes and thinks and feels and illuminates at every step. Wonderful!

William Michaelian said...

I appreciate that, Joe. Thanks. Really, the poem did most of the work, and I tried to stay out of the way. Or so it seemed during its construction. A couple of times, I purposely left the room, and it went ahead without me.

Alberto Oliver said...

William, is a pleasure to have you back in bloggworld. I was missing your words, words that inspire freedom, freedom to think, words that dare to break the chains of dogma.

Thanks for your nice comments,,i am starting to feel a little bit better, and then again, nice that your blog is fully operational now!! =)=)
Regards and my best wishes

nouvelles couleurs - vienna atelier said...

to read your post is really a pleasure , I agree to Oliver...

William Michaelian said...

Alberto, thank you. It’s good news that you’re feeling better. Soon you’ll be free to bring home more of your imaginative picture-paintings, which I always enjoy.

Thank you, too, Laura....

Fenny said...

like the way this flows gently to its conclusion

'Or do you come in emptiness as deep as my own,
And which, by its clever-sweet design, is full?'

'I stand by night and all its glory. But day’s a veil I adore;
And faith, where there is none; glad pilgrims; those who mourn.'

especially love these lines William ... graceful!

William Michaelian said...

Thank you, Fenny!