No. VIII, from Nine Evocations

“The bird lies still while the light goes on flying.”
From “Unknown Age,” by W. S. Merwin
Those with strapped-on wings
for ages dreamt of flying like the birds
and fell from cliffs broke limbs or died.
But when I ask for the wind’s help
getting beyond the mind’s bent roads
and its dead ends it sighs and says
(with a whoosh) I’ll take you there
just as soon as all your words are ash.

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

On Aug. 21, there will be a total solar eclipse and its path will fall across the entire continental United States.
Margot PattersonAugust 17, 2017
Children, some in tears, are escorted down a road in Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017. Police in Barcelona say a white van has mounted a sidewalk, struck several people in the city's Las Ramblas district. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
A van drove into a pedestrian zone killing at least 12 people and injuring more than 80 others.
Gerard O'ConnellAugust 17, 2017
A violation of the confessional seal anywhere will become the rationale for mandating its violation everywhere.
The EditorsAugust 17, 2017
Kosovo's government backed the cathedral. Its foundation stone was laid in 2005 by the late President Ibrahim Rugova, a Muslim.