On the Pleasures of Stafford (Part 1)


A MESSAGE FROM SPACE
by William Stafford

Everything that happens is the message:
you read an event and be one and wait,
like breasting a wave, all the while knowing
by living, though not knowing how to live.

Or workers built an antenna—a dish
aimed at stars—and they themselves are its message,
crawling in and out, being worlds that loom,
dot-dash, and sirens, and sustaining beams.

And sometimes no one is calling but we turn up
eye and ear—suddenly we fall into
sound before it begins, the breathing
so still it waits there under the breath—

And then the green of leaves calls out, hills
where they wait or turn, clouds in their frenzied
stillness unfolding their careful words:
“Everything counts. The message is the world.”

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