there is so much joy in being afraid of the world together

Waking in the Middle of the Night
Robert Bly

I want to be true to what I have heard. It was
Sweet to hear music last night. There is so
Much joy in being afraid of the world together.

The snow in the branches, the sadness in your hands,
The foot tracks in the mud, the old Inca faces,
The trout who wait all year for acorns to descend.

The sitar player is so much like the crow, who rises
Each morning in the sky above the black branches
And cries six cries with no memory of the light.

Every musician wants his fingers to play faster
So that he can go deeper into the kingdom of pain.
Each note on the string calls for one note more.

The hand that has written all these sounds down
Is like a bird who wakes in the middle of the night
And starts out towards its old nest on the mountain.

Robert, I don’t know why you would have such
Good luck these days. Those few lines about the crows
Crying are better than a whole night of sleep.


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