A poem spoken by David Whyte from his collection ‘River Flow: New & Selected Poems’.
After Derek Mahon
Your great mistake is to act the drama
as if you were alone. As if life
were a progressive and cunning crime
with no witness to the tiny hidden
transgressions. To feel abandoned is to deny
the intimacy of your surroundings. Surely,
even you, at times, have felt the grand array;
the swelling presence, and the chorus, crowding
out your solo voice. You must note
the way the soap dish enables you,
or the window latch grants you courage.
Alertness is the hidden discipline of familiarity.
The stairs are your mentor of things
to come, the doors have always been there
to frighten you and invite you,
and the tiny speaker in the phone
is your dream-ladder to divinity.
Put down the weight of your aloneness and ease into the
conversation. The kettle is singing
even as it pours you a drink, the cooking pots
have left their arrogant aloofness and
seen the good in you at last. All the birds
and creatures of the world are unutterably
themselves. Everything is waiting for you.
This poem is excerpted from David Whyte’s collection of poetry, ‘River Flow: New & Selected Poems’.
David Whyte is an English poet of Irish extraction and is an Associate Fellow at Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford. His books include ‘The Heart Aroused: Poetry and the Preservation of the Soul in Corporate America’, ‘River Flow: New & Selected Poems’, and ‘Consolations: The Solace, Nourishment, and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words’. www.davidwhyte.com
Credit to onbeing.org by Krista Tippett and Prem Geet