Benediction (After Walt Whitman)
Let your arms enfold a comrade's embrace around me
and your lips bestow a chorus of kisses upon my yearning face:
they will make music as they touch my skin,
each kiss a note of its own accord,
rising to the war-crimsoned sky
and falling back upon the blood soaked ground.
And if this is not enough to quell the clamour of guns,
let the notes become seeds as they tumble down
and when they have sought shelter in the gore-moist earth,
they will grow as trees, giving song birds branches of friendship
so their trilling can fill the air,
until the cries of our poor comrades become antiphons of joy
and the weeping of shell-shocked bairns is stilled in their cradling harmony.
Sing, O sing to me with your kisses,
sing me a benediction as old as time,
sing me the tune the stars sang when they were born,
let the strife-dark sky become a gleaming sound-bowl,
till the Earth resonates with love's dream-song.
This poem was inspired by reading Walt Whitman's 'A Song' (from 'Leaves of Grass') : at first reading it seems pleasant though unremarkable but after a few days you realise its language has worked its way deep inside you, revealing Whitman's genius - to make a great, beautiful and expansive work of art from such simple material.