12 October, 2007

'Little Word, Little White Bird' by Carl Sandburg

by Carl Sandburg
an excerpt

(for dad... today. to remember the day this was read with such sorrow; and to rejoice that feeling "washed clean and strong inside and out" is nearer every day...)

And it won't change anything
it won't wipe away what has been
or alter what is to be
if you hear me saying
Love is a little white bird
and the flight of it so fast
you can't see it
and you know it's there
only by the faint whirr of its wings
and the hush song coming so low to your ears
you fear it might be silence
and you listen keen
and you listen long
and you know it's more than silence
for you get the hush song so lovely
it hurts and cuts into your heart

and what you want
is to give more than you can get
and you'd like to write it
but it can't be written
and you'd like to sing it
but you don't dare try
because the little white bird sings it better than you can

so you listen
and while you listen you pray
and one day it's as though
a great slow wind had washed you clean and strong
inside and out

and the little white bird's hush song
is telling you nothing can harm you,
the days to come can weave in and weave out
and spin their fabrics and designs for you
and nothing can harm you
unless you change yourself in to a thing of harm
nothing can harm you.

I give you the little white bird
and my thanks for your hearing me,
and my prayers for you
my deep and silent prayers.


  1. that made my heart do a funny little swoosh.
    It's beautiful.



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