It seems odd that I find comfort in both the long arc of time which draws me up and into the beautiful night sky and the delicate, fleeting moments of the flowers beginning to pop up as spring comes around the corner in New England. Somehow the awareness that my one “brief and spectacular life” is nestled between these two ends of the spectrum causes me to relax. Maybe this is true for you too? Or not? Either way, a poem for this month’s silence reflection and a chance to pause for a moment and let these words and images stir whatever they do for you.
The Drum that Beats Within Us
The drum that beats within us is primitive as stone,
the song of one who fears not death nor years alone,
who seeks the silent hoofbeats within the ancient glade,
and hunts the sorrowed unicorn beneath the laurel’s shade.
The drum that beats within us outlasts all sense of time
and limbers to no earthly tune, no transitory rime.
The politic is not its stead, nor earning, nor the wise,
it abides not reason, nor in dimension lies.
In the lodgepole canyons before the day’s alive
you hear it in the flicker, the creek stone and the hive,
you know it in the winter wind that licks about the boughs
and sifts the gifts of years and bones the forest floor allows.
The drum that beats within us is steady as the Bear
who sleepless guards the whirling skies around his northern lair;
although we cannot see him in the glitter of the day
we know that he is visible once light is swept away.
As when the buck has bounded from his needled mountain bed,
his footfalls echo through the pines long after he has fled,
so does the drum beat after us, although we travel past
the touch of every star and space, the wish a wish might last.
- Mike Bond
Peri and Barbara