Robert Bly (1926 – )
being to timelessness
by e. e. cummings
being to timelessness as it’s to time,
love did no more begin than love will end;
where nothing is to breathe to stroll to swim
love is the air the ocean and the land
(do lovers suffer? all divinities
proudly descending put on deathful flesh:
are lovers glad? only their smallest joy’s
a universe emerging from a wish)
love is the voice under all silences,
the hope which has no opposite in fear;
the strength so strong mere force is feebleness:
the truth more first than sun more last than star
—do lovers love? why then to heaven with hell.
Whatever sages say and fools, all’s well.
When I Am With You
by Robert Bly
When I am with you, two notes of the sarod
Carry me into a place I am not.
All the farms have disappeared into air.
Those wooden fence posts I loved as a boy —
I can see my father’s face through their wood,
And through his face the sky as threshing ends.
It is such a blessing to hear that we will die,
Ten thousand barks become a hundred thousand;
I knew this friendship with myself couldn’t last forever.
Touch the sarong’s string again, so that the finger
That touched my skin a moment ago
Can become a lightning bolt that closes the door.
Now I know why I keep hinting at the word you —
The sound of you carries me over the border.
We disappear the same way a baby is born.
Some fool with my name has been trying.
To peer all afternoon through the thick boards
Of the fence. Tell that boy it isn’t time.