Lately a New Voice


Lately a new voice is making itself heard
 deep within the usual cacophony
that hardly sleeps, hardly rests,
except during those few moments
when that merciful drop
to the dark bottom of awareness
opens a new cavern of wordless, thoughtless
something. Is it presence?


Too soon for names.
But the whole world changes there,
becomes a place I do not recognize
cannot manipulate.
Control is as ineffective
as car wheels on clear ice,
careening when it tries, off base,

For moments, the world of my body stills
as if blood wasn't streaming everywhere,
as if there was no heartbeat or shifting muscle,
no impulse to move,
a thousand things to be done.

The new voice sometimes sounds out words
I don't use often enough:
 praise, trust, thanks, surrender.
Peace. Be.

This new voice is content with the world
and with myself in it. This new voice
carries me like a rushing stream 
towards a waiting lake
and I am breathless and content with the ride.

I wait. I turn toward it as often as I can,
as often as I dare, and sometimes
I'm too frightened to sit waiting for it to arrive.
The old voices return, then,
catching me up on all I've missed and heard
a million times, spilling over me like an infant
throwing up milk on my shoulder,
reminding me of all I've left undone
and that needs, needs, doing.