As I was walking on the street, a whisper came to me. It seemed an eerie whispering, and so I paused to hear. And then I heard a voice that called, as if across a sea. And though it sounded distant, yet I also sensed it near.
“They know the words,” that whisper said, “so all can sing the song.
They know them well. And one may lead, while others sing along.
But then another takes the lead. You’re hearing what they feel.
They share in song—and everything—where no one needs to steal.”
I heard that voice that seemed to be so far, so distant, yet
Was also there within my heart, as close as it could get.
“I do not know the words.” I said, “I do not know the words.
Do tell me what the meaning is. To me, they sing like birds.”
For I had heard a singing then, behind that eerie voice, That rose and fell in cadences, as if a hidden sea Were breaking on a distant shore, from which a random breeze Had carried sound across the miles and so by chance to me.
But though I heard that singing still, that voice had ceased to speak.
And so I strained to hear that song, which still was distant, weak.
And as I listened, I discerned the words—they still were strange,
But slowly, one by one, they came within my hearing’s range.
And to this day, I hear that song. It pulses in my mind.
For me, it's still a wondrous thing. A passing spirit, kind,
Had given me this gentle song—that whispers, like the sea
May do, when quite a distance from the place we chance to be.
“I do not know the words.” I’d said, “I do not know the words.” But I could hear the feeling in the song. That still remains. And though I’d said it sounded like the singing of the birds, It sings to me of hopes and loves—of all our joys and pains.
“They know the words,” that voice had said, “so all can sing along.”
And one by one I hear them sing—I hear them sing that song.
They share in this, and everything, where no one needs to steal.
And though I’ve never met them, I can hear the way they feel.
And still I daily walk the streets, within the city’s sphere.
And there are times I’m full of grief, of madness and of fear.
But then I hear that song again, and so my heart is lifted.
I thank the spirit then for this—this drop of kindness, gifted.
I wish I understood the words. But then, it doesn't matter. For there's a place for words and there's another place for song. And so at times the words we speak appear as useless chatter. For those are times to listen—and perhaps to sing along.
2015 May 25th, Mon “Memorial Day “ in the U.S.A. Brooklyn, New York