Poet, your utterance becomes my breath.
The rhythm of my pulses is the song
That burned in yours when once your blood was flame
And sang an hour of silence into fire.
Then, if your breath is mine, your singing mine,
Mine, too, the swift surrender to your whim
That is laughter on the lips of truth; and mine
The crying of your feet, and mine your eyes
Seeking to cool their sight upon horizons
Where minarets may justify the sun.
Poet, giving me breath,
The secret fury of your silences,
The password of your fancy that unlocks
Gates lightly swung upon the hinge of space,
Giving me your abandonment of time,
You lay your poem in my lifted hands.
Poet, now it is mine.
It has been sung and is for you a spent
Passion – a white smoke moving on the sky.
It has appeased your singing heart and given
Your feet a faith for having wandered well.
Then wrap the folds of your accomplishment
In a cloak about your sated shoulders; know
For you it is a journey old and done,
For me, a calling. Go, leave me alone
To live the wonder you have given me.
The names of places that are named with music
Shall be the singing signposts where I go.
And coolly and forever unamazed
I will find roads to tangle with my feet –
Roads intricate, ironic – roads and roads
To thirst for, thrill for, sing for, live for – die.
And I will be forever undismayed
At moonlit eyes, at tropical descents
And lightly ancient follies at my lips.
For my ignorance shall be split by screeching birds,
My innocence dissolved into the spray
Of cataracts and rivers leaping past . . .
Poet, well may you mourn,
And wrapped in heavy robes of your fulfillment,
Well may you envy me my unspent tread,
Envy my colored days, my tempted nights.
For you there is a journey old and done,
For me, a calling, and my breathing answer
That is an everlasting restlessness.