Listen to Things

More often than Beings,

Hear the voice of fire,

Hear the voice of water.

Listen in the wind,

To the sighs of the bush;

This is the ancestors breathing.

Those who are dead are not ever gone;

They are in the darkness that grows lighter

And in the darkness that grows darker.

The dead are not down in the earth;

They are in the trembling of the trees

In the groaning of the woods,

In the water that runs,

In the water that sleeps,

They are in the hut, they are in the crowd:

The dead are not dead.

Listen to things

More often than beings,

Hear the voice of fire,

Hear the voice of water.

Listen in the wind,

To the bush that is sighing:

This is the breathing of ancestors,

Who have not gone away

Who are not under earth

Who are not really dead.

Those who are dead are not ever gone;

They are in a woman’s breast,

In the wailing of a child,

And the burning of a log,

In the moaning rock,

In the weeping grasses,

In the forest and the home.

The dead are not dead.

Listen more often

To Things than to Beings,

Hear the voice of fire,

Hear the voice of water.

Listen in the wind to

The bush that is sobbing:

This is the ancestors breathing.

Each day they renew ancient bonds,

Ancient bonds that hold fast

Binding our lot to their law,

To the will of the spirits stronger than we

To the spell of our dead who are not really dead,

Whose covenant binds us to life,

Whose authority binds to their will,

The will of the spirits that stir

In the bed of the river, on the banks of the river,

The breathing of spirits

Who moan in the rocks and weep in the grasses.

Spirits inhabit

The darkness that lightens, the darkness that darkens,

The quivering tree, the murmuring wood,

The water that runs and the water that sleeps:

Spirits much stronger than we,

The breathing of the dead who are not really dead,

Of the dead who are not really gone,

Of the dead now no more in the earth.

Listen to Things

More often than Beings,

Hear the voice of fire,

Hear the voice of water.

Listen in the wind,

To the bush that is sobbing:

This is the ancestors, breathing

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