Tag Archives: desire



“…it’s madness to live without joy.”
—Czeslaw Milosz

It’s madness to live without joy, to will
to wake and look forward to nil,
to drag a dull clod through the day
with little to give or to say,
to keep going nowhere, uphill–

to look out and dream by the sill
of elsewhere and elsewise until
the traveling river has trickled away–
it’s madness to live without joy.

Beyond the forest of chill
is a clearing–quiet, sun-filled.
It awaits. Go. Not to pray
but to listen for what to obey.
There’ll be things to destroy. Still,
it’s madness to live without joy.



Are they trying to be songs,
those small urges nudging the heart
toward the throat, wanting to live on air?

Very like songs they are,
fragments of song, ideas for a song
swimming upstream to a belonging

with mute swans on the clear
mirror of a mountain lake
gliding toward the inevitable.

But what if they’re off-key?
Sung wrong?  What indeed.
Try to remember what

someone looking for the lost chord
midway up a mountain in Tibet
said, and which I pass along:

a bird does not sing
because it has an answer;
it sings because it has a song.

Prelude to a Necessary Song