Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Executive's Death

The Executive’s Death

Merchants have multiplied more
than the stars of heaven.
Half the population are like
the long grasshoppers
That sleep in the bushes
in the cool of the day;
The sound of their wings
is heard at noon,
muffled, near the earth.
The crane handler dies;
the taxi driver dies, slumped over
In his taxi. Meanwhile high in the air
an executive walks on cool floors,
and suddenly falls.
Dying, he dreams he is lost
in a snowbound mountain
On which he crashed, carried at night
by great machines.
As he lies on the wintry slope,
cut off and dying,
A pine stump talks to him
of Goethe and Jesus.
Commuters arrive in Hartford
at dusk like moles
Or hares flying from a fire
behind them,
And the dusk in Hartford is full
of their sighs.
Their trains come through the air
like a dark music,
Like the sound of horns,
the sound of thousands of small wings.

Robert Bly

Posted over on Poetry Foundation

Robert Bly, “The Executive’s Death” from The Light Around the Body. Copyright © 1967 and renewed 1995 by Robert Bly.

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