"David Whyte has done well with this book . . . it has a certain moist intensity that nourishes. "

- Robert Bly

Songs for Coming Home are just that: an experience in remembering
and returning. In them, a modern bard speaks to our basic unitites with
ourselves and our world and does so in ways that cannot help but spark
in us the very connectedness of which he writes. Deeply moved by the spirit
of the poems and their author, I found ancient songs of the soul echoing
in me as I read. I recommend this work highly."

- David Spangler

songs

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THE OPENING OF EYES

That day I saw beneath dark clouds
the passing light over the water
and I heard the voice of the world speak out,
I knew then, as I had before
life is no passing memory of what has been
nor the remaining pages in a great book
waiting to be read.

It is the opening of eyes long closed.
It is the vision of far off things
seen for the silence they hold.
It is the heart after years
of secret conversing
speaking out loud in the clear air.

It is Moses in the desert
fallen to his knees before the lit bush.
It is the man throwing away his shoes
as if to enter heaven
and finding himself astonished,
opened at last,
fallen in love with solid ground.


THE GEESE

Brightness and black specks
lift from the water

and from the geese
sound breaks over the lake
of wings beating through a clear sun.

Their necks extend upward
to the rim of the white mountain
where they close
tightening
northward
into the black line of an arrow.

Each morning the old one rises
strings his bow
aims in the clear sun
and breaking the silence
with beating wings
looses the geese from bent arms.

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

The Song of the Lark

1. SONGS FOR LEAVING THE HOUSE

On the Rim of the Island
Alone in the Forest
Coming Back to the House

II. SONGS FOR THE MOMENTS

Horses Moving in the Snow
Sound over Water
Light over Water
The Geese
Leaving the Gate

III. SONGS FOR THE BODY

Inside
Upon the Hill's Back
All My Body Calls
Body of Oceans
The Long Arm of Memory

IV. SONGS FOR PRAISE

The Opening of Eyes
Trees
Grass
The Wildflower

V. SONGS WITHOUT WISDOM

Today I Have no Wisdom
The Cliff
Under the Locust Tree

VI. SONGS FROM THE KAYAK

[Six Songs]
Out on the Ocean

VII. SONGS FOR COMING HOME

Home
Seven Steps for Coming Home