Saturday, October 31, 2009

When Death Comes



I found this poem on Bart Campolo's blog.





When death comes
like the hungry bear in autumn,
when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse

To buy me, and snaps the purse shut,
when death comes
like the measle-pox

When death comes
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,

I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering:
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?

And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,

And I think of each life as a flower, as common
as a field daisy, and as singular,

And each name a comfortable music in the mouth,
tending, as all music does, toward silence,
and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to the earth

When it’s over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it is over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.

I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.

Mary Oliver
from

From New and Selected Poems by Mary Oliver (Beacon Press, 25 Beacon St, Boston, MA 02108-2892, ISBN 0 870 6819 5).

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