Between waves, under the moon’s light,
after the passing of your smile into memory
when the last silence falls and your voice
is no longer heard over the shadows
of the earth, when even the rain has stopped
and my memory and my words and my arms
and my hands that held you have fallen away
with the tide of time, retreating forever
into the beckoning everlasting dark;
when everything we know has gone,
when my heart has stopped and yours
no longer calls to mine through the distance
of our time together – others will live in this life
and this love and this light, that we have set
in motion, so that underneath that far off,
yet to arrive and sheltering darkness,
underneath the deep and almost touchable nearness
of all things, underneath the breath of our words
joining together for this privileged time of times,
they will see in the distant pinprick stars
the returning light of the dawn we made together,
as we live in the light and the love of those
who came before us, and who helped us to see
and celebrate and recognize ourselves
and who brought us here and whose light
we now pass on, so that even at the end
of time, even in what looks like silence,
even in the quietest sense of disappearance,
even in the far distance of times beyond
our present understanding, we will be remembered
in the way others still live, and still live on, in our love.

From The Bell and the Blackbird (Many Rivers Press, 2018). Posted by kind permission of Many Rivers Press.

David Whyte

David Whyte

About the author

David Whyte is an internationally renowned poet and author, and a scintillating and moving speaker. Behind these talents lies a very physical attempt to give voice to the wellsprings of human identity, human striving and, most difficult of all, the possibilities for human happiness. He draws from hundreds of memorized poems, his own and those of other beloved poets such as Wordsworth, Emily Dickinson, Keats, Pablo Neruda, Fleur Adcock and the sonnets of Shakespeare. He is the author of ten books of poetry, three books of prose on the transformative nature of work; a widely-acclaimed, best-selling book of essays, and an extensive audio collection.