On the Day I Die
On the day I die, when I’m being carried
toward the grave, don’t weep. Don’t say,
He’s gone! He’s gone. Death has nothing
to do with going away. The sun sets and
the moon sets, but they’re not gone.
Death is a coming together. The tomb
looks like a prison, but it’s really
release into union. The human seed goes
down in the ground like a bucket into
the well where Joseph is. It grows and
comes up full of some unimagined beauty.
Your mouth closes here and immediately
opens with a shout of joy there.
Coleman Barks reading“On the Day I Die”
on What Was Said to the Rose, 2004
Coleman Barks with Barry & Shelly Phillips
CD available from
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