by Brendan Kennelly from Reservoir Voices
Whether for the living
or the dead, I am waiting,
waiting to be said.
For millions of other reasons too.
I am mostly born in human hearts.
I listen to you.
I travel beyond stars,
carrying the sighs and cries of women
whose sons are trapped in wars.
Men and women, girls and boys
in sleeping bags in doorways
whisper me to dark skies.
I know the meaning of despair,
I know something of hope.
Both always hover in the air.
I listen to you; who listens to me ?
Is a rainbow the colours of help ?
Am I small as a fallen leaf, deep as any sea?
I am your bridge, I will carry your words
to presences beyond imagining.
That is my life, my work, my privilege.
A traveller living in the stillness of your soul,
a greeting, a few words of touching, a lonely
plea, a kiss from the spirit of giving
available to tortured bodies, prisoners
trapped in cells or money, lovers facing
separation, friends drifting over cold borders
help me to help you in the name of
whatever is good or good enough to suggest
the warm possibility of love.
Certain forces work hard to betray me.
I go beyond. There you are. I am your words.