Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Morning Reading: "a thousand pagan ministers will arrive tomorrow to baptize the wind"



Living at the End of Time
By Robert Bly

There is so much sweetness in children’s voices,
And so much discontent at the end of day,
And so much satisfaction when a train goes by.

I don’t know why the rooster keeps crying,
Nor why elephants keep raising their trunks,
Nor why Hawthorne kept hearing trains at night.

A handsome child is a gift from God,
And a friend is a vein in the back of the hand,
And a wound is an inheritance from the wind.

Some say we are living at the end of time,
But I believe a thousand pagan ministers
Will arrive tomorrow to baptize the wind.

There’s nothing we need to do about John. The Baptist
Has been laying his hands on earth for so long
That the well water is sweet for a hundred miles.

It’s all right if we don’t know what the rooster
Is saying in the middle of the night, nor why we feel
So much satisfaction when a train goes by.


*

3 comments:

smilingheart said...

seems to swirl around touching and teasing, I know it very well, not sure how.

thanks,

dean

Anonymous said...

I can hear Robert Bly's voice speaking this poem.

Thanks, as always,for these touchstones.

the other L

Lyle Daggett said...

A couple of weeks ago I heard Robert Bly read here in Minneapolis -- he read from (among other things) his new book Talking into the Ear of a Donkey, in which the poem here is included.

I appreciate your posting the poem here, in the context of the imminent end of the world. :)

And though I'm not a pagan minister, as such, I'll make a point of blessing the wind tomorrow. It can't hurt, considering the general state of the world these days...

 
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