Robert Bly

The Cry Going Out Over Pastures

    I love you so much with this alive and lonely body. My 
body is a young hawk sitting on a tree by the Mississippi, in early 
spring, before any green has appeared on the earth beneath. 
Some days walnut hollows in my chest fill with crackling light and 
shadows. There birds drink from water drops...My body loves 
you with what it extracts from the prudent man, hunched over
 his colony of lizards; and with that it loves you madly, beyond all 
rules and conventions. Even the six holes in the flute move about 
under the dark man's fingers, and the piercing cry goes out over 
the grown-up pastures no one sees or visits at dusk except the deer, 
out of all enclosures, who has never seen any bed but his own of 
wild grass.
    I first met you when I had been alone for nine days, and now my 
lonely hawk body longs to be with you, whom it 
knew how close we are, we would always be. There is death but also 
this closeness, this joy when the bee rises into the air above his hive 
to find the sun, to become the son, and the traveler moves through 
exile and loss, through murkiness and failure, to touch the earth 
again of his own kingdom and kiss the ground...
    What shall I say of this? I say, praise to the first man who wrote 
down this joy clearly, for we cannot remain in love with what we 
cannot name...