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Posts Tagged ‘selflessness’

 

for Wallace Hartley and the musicians of the Titanic

 

 

And as the splendid ship began to list

and as the people scrambled on the decks,

the band struck up a ragtime tune, and next

they played an autumn waltz. Yes there, amidst

the screaming and the shouts, the band persisted,

giving to the night what they gave best—

the peace that comes from melody. They blessed

the crowd with song till waves consumed the ship.

 

How is it that they all agreed to stay?

Some artist’s creed? Some sense this was their gift?

Survivors say they heard the soaring staves

of hymns escort them as they rowed away—

still heard them as the aft began to lift.

And sink. Then nothing but Atlantic waves.

 

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And Again

 

 

 

And what if I never get it right,

this loving, this giving of the self

to the other? And what if I die

before learning how to offer

my everything? What if, though

I say I want this generous,

indefatigable love, what if

I forever find a way to hold

some corner back? I don’t want

to find out the answer

to that. I want to be the sun

that gives and gives until it burns out,

the sea that kisses the shore

and only moves away so that

it might rush up to kiss it again.

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for Joi Sharp

And there they appeared,
all around me, roses,

lilies and delphiniums blue,
and even some flowers

that weren’t in season—
lilacs, azaleas

and birds of paradise,
all of them blooming,

abundant and blooming,
the air hung with sweetness,

the petals so soft,
and for a while I thought

oh! for me! my flowers!
my bouquets! Until

one by one, though reluctant
at first, and with some pouting throughout,

I was guided to give them away
and they were much

lovelier then.

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