Wednesday, November 12, 2008

On grief.....

“When great souls die,
The air around us becomes
Light, rare, sterile.
We breathe, briefly.
Our eyes, briefly,
See with a hurtful clarity.
Our memory, suddenly sharpened,
gnaws on kind words unsaid,
Promised walks
Never taken.

Great souls die and
Our reality, bound to them,
Takes leave of us.
Our souls, dependent upon their nurture,
Now shrink wizened.
Our minds, formed and informed by their radiance,
Fall away.
We are not so much maddened
As reduced to the unutterable ignorance
Of dark, cold caves.

And when great souls die,
After a period peace blooms,
Slowly and always irregularly.
Spaces fill with a kind of soothing electric vibration.
Our senses, restored, never to be the same,
Whisper to us.
They existed. They existed.
We can be. Be and be better.
For they existed.

From a poem by the African American poet Maya Angelou.

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