Andy Warhol. Flower for Tacoma Dome. (1982)
In Heaven the starry saints will wipe away
The tears forever from our eyes, but they
Must not erase the memory of our grief.
In bliss, even, there can be no relief
If we forget this place, shade-haunted, parched
Or flooded, dark or bright, where we have watched
The world always becoming what it is,
Splendor and woe surpassing happiness
Or sorrow, loss sweeping it as a floor.
This shadowed passage between door and door
Is half-lit by old words we've heard or read.
As the living recall the dead, the dead
Are joyless unril they call back their lives:
Fallen like leaves, the husbands and the wives
In history's ignorant, bloody to-and-fro,
Eternally in love, and in time learning so.
from: "Sabbath Poems 1998-2004," in Wendell Berry, Given: new poems. (Berkeley: Counterpoint, 2005).