Wednesday, July 18, 2012

see them go

I am revising. I don't need one poem; I need all poems. But I only have room for one today.

The Calling

And the word came--was it a god
spoke or a devil!--Go
to that lean parish; let them tread
on your dreams; and learn silence

is wisdom. Be alone with yourself
as they are alone in the cold room
of the wind. Listen to the earth
mumbling the monotonous song

of the soil. I am hungry, I
am hungry, in spite of the red dung
of this people. See them go
one by one through that dark door

with the crumpled ticket of your prayers
in their hands. Share their distraught
joy at the dropping of their inane
children. Test your belief

in spirit on their faces staring
at you, on beauty's surrender
to truth, on the soul's selling
of itself for a corner

by the body's fire. Learn the thinness
of the window that is
between you and life, and how
the mind cuts itself if it goes through.

by R.S. Thomas