die as did that good man William Blake
who, shortly before,
broke into singing; before that, called his wife
and drew her, not just her face, but her whole and spiritual
body. Closer to it,
he said he would forever be near to care for her.
After that, and after the singing, he was still.
Of course, when your good death comes, you’ll have
most likely lost
the power of utterance, not a word left to summon,
not a scrap
of whistled melody. No, you will have been for a time
in deepest soliloquy,
in an immense silence, immersed in whatever in us is
powerful, ancient, free.
But since the truth of the imagination for most of us
needs to be
embodied, may you also, while now there’s time,
before you die. May you daily stand outside time’s rush,
whose rivering is
our natural light, and there on the steep lip of what we call
call me angel, if angel I am; draw sunbursts in the rainlit air;
sing your heart out.
Great being, radiantly still. And near.
The Image archive is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.