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 colemanbarks.com