Robert Bly


The goose cries, and there is no way to save her.
So many cheeps come from the nest by the river.
If God doesn’t listen, why are we listening?

Very deep water covers most of the globe.
Whenever I see it, I think of St. John.
There is no remedy for deep water but listening.

The King and Queen already know about love;
They search for each other through the whole deck.
While we play our hands, they are listening.

The day we die, we’ll each be like the fish
Abruptly jerked out of the water.
For him, it is the end of all listening.

Like thousands of others, I’m eating beet soup
In some Russian inn. People write letters
To me from heaven, but I’m not listening.

The hermit said: “Because the world is mad,
The only way through the world is to learn
The arts and double the madness. Are you listening?”