Who is awake but the nightwatchman?
Or the grim laborer in the graveyard
Shift? The spirit world is in transit—
Souls of the newdead drift
Like floating lanterns
Over a river woven with ghosts.
Somewhere at the crossroads of night
A man will come to the vanishing line
Of his life. All the world he’s known
Closes into a clock of smoke;
In that final unannullable hour
The self is torn from time and calendar:
Mind undresses from body,
Its clothes of blood and bone.
As it crosses through the door of death
The spirit reaches the lips of the unknown
Mind floats through starlight
Like an oarless boat along the coastline.
What is ghost
But the echo of a man
As he roams his native hills and roads and home?
He wears the mist
In his hair,
His voice: the hounds of wind.
Between the living and the dead
Here in the wrecking hour of deep night
Where we lie awake and listen
For the white wolf to arrive.