Friday, November 8, 2013

listening to the sitar before dawn

It is not yet dawn, and the sitar is playing.
Where are the footsteps that were so clear yesterday?
Sometimes stones have no weight at all, and clouds are heavy.

To those who want me to change, I say, “I will
Never stop traveling that road which connects
Socrates to the turtle, and Falstaff to the Baal Shem.”

Every sitar note strikes a bargain with the one
Who arranges things. One note says, “A year in heaven.”
The turgid silence says, “Two years under the earth.”

The sitar players are already pulling heaven down,
While we have hardly learned to carry earth.
Perhaps they remember all their errors in loving.

Some say that Ganesha and Catherine do the work
For us all, but I see a great deal of faithfulness
In the dragon fly with her long, skinny body.

It was still dark when the fingers began to play.
Now we who have listened so hard have nothing to say.
The wavering sitar note is the early dawn.

For David Whetstone

~ Robert Bly