Robert Bly





The Pelicans at White Horse Key

Occasionally spreading their wings to the sun, pelicans 
Dive for fish from dawn to dusk. The Lord of this World 
Is a painter working at night in a dark room. 

Earth is the place where we’ve agreed to throw 
Away the gifts that Adam’s grandfather gave us 
During the Dark Time before eternity was born.

The lover’s body belongs to ruined earth. 
The scattered stars belong to the Milky Way. 
The potato field belongs to early night.

The Monitor Lizard is a child of the Mother, 
And a favorite child. The Monitor holds a snake 
Immobile for an hour and then eats.

We know it’s good not to have sharp opinions; 
But would you still think so much of Noah 
If he had thrown away his bag of nails?

Four times this month I have dreamt I am 
A murderer; and I am. These lines are paper boats 
Set out to float on the sea of repentance.