The archer with time
as his arrow – has he broken
his strings that the rainbow
is so quiet over our village?
Let us stand, then in the interval
of our wounding, till the silence
turn golden and love is
a moment eternally overflowing.
by R. S. Thomas
from No Truce With the Furies (1995)
You raise your eyes from the level book
as if deeply listening. You are further than I call.
Like Eurydice you wear a hurt and absent look,
but I’m gentle for the silence into which you fall so sadly.
What are you thinking? Do you love me?
Suddenly you are not you at all but a ghost
dreaming of a castle to haunt or a heavy garden;
some place eerie, and far from me. But now a door
is banging outside, so you turn your head surprised.
You speak my name and someone else has died.
by Dannie Abse
from Tenants of the house (1957)
To live in the moment’s a well-worn routine
that most of the world has perfected;
for some, it’s the moment that’s already been,
for others, the one that’s expected.
Yet no sort of magic can kindle anew
a past that is over forever,
nor summon the future before it is due:
our moment is now – or it’s never.
So brief is the moment in which we may live,
and future or past it isn’t.
Whoever would know of what life hast to give
must gratefully welcome the present.
by Piet Hein (1905-1996), Denmark