Last week the painter had a dream in which an old friend, dead in an instant two years ago now, appeared, smiling and so happy to see him. Do you think he came back because he died so fast and he wanted to say goodbye to you? I asked him when he told me about the dream. Who knows? Maybe, the painter said. Either way it was good to see him, happy and healthy. W.S. Merwin has always been a poet of dreams to me, what with his imagery and the way his unpunctuated poems float on the page. His calm voice drifts across the water, and sometimes one of his poems feels exactly right.
Voices Over Water, by W. S. Merwin
There are spirits that come back to us
when we have grown into another age
we recognize them just as they leave us
we remember them when we cannot hear them
some of them come from the bodies of birds
some arrive unnoticed like forgetting
they do not recall earlier lives
and there are distant voices still hoping to find us
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