Robert Bly

Longing for the Acrobat

There is so much sweetness in children’s voices, 
And so much discontent at the end of day, 
And so much satisfaction when a train goes by.

I don’t know why the rooster keeps on crying, 
Nor why the elephant lifts his knobby trunk, 
Nor why Hawthorne kept hearing trains at night.

A handsome child is a gift from God, 
And a friend is a vein in the back of the hand, 
And a wound is an inheritance from the wind.

Some say we are living at the end of time, 
But I believe a thousand pagan ministers 
Will arrive tomorrow to baptize the wind.

There’s nothing we need to do about Saint John. 
Whenever he laid his hands on earth 
The well water was sweet for a hundred miles.

Everywhere people are longing for a deeper life. 
Let’s hope some acrobat will come by 
And give us a hint how to get into heaven.