Monday, April 19, 2010

Tuesday Poem

Heaven is other people


Heaven is other people.
Hallelujah. See them strewn about the earth,
Their stony cities lit by dim electric light and furtive love.


I am at the doorway of the world,
Pushing poem after poem through the crack.
And I know that they are read,
For whenever I arrive,
The garden path has been dutifully swept,
The unruly roses trimmed,
And footsteps murmur in the dark house as I leave.


If I reach inside you, all the way,
I cannot bridge the gap between us.
I cannot offer final proof.
And when my scouts retreat from the
Terra incognita of your flesh,
They bring me wild reports of wonders perceived,
But scarcely understood.
Hush. This imperfect knowledge
We share in the silence after.


Heaven is other people.
Hallelujah and Hosanna. See them
Cradled by a vastness of raging debris,
Boldly going about the business of
Rewriting the story from scratch.
It makes me want to never leave.
But when leave I must,
I am left with a solitary consolation,
That I must leave it all to you,
To you and to you and to you.

Cameron Morrison Birnie

This poem was written by my son. (Thanks cam for letting me post it.)


  1. Wow, that is mighty stuff! Thanks Pam and thanks Cameron.

  2. What a glorious composition, Cameron - four parts, like a symphony, with all the height, depth, breadth and span of one. Pianissimo. Fortissimo. Decrescendo. Crescendo... "Heaven is other people" has given my day wings. Thanks to both of you, Pam and Cam. x

  3. Phew — how our children are our hearts' teachers.
    I greet the god in you, Cameron, namaste, Pam.

  4. Another Tuesday poem with a wonderful closing! I like all of this poem, but especially the last two lines - a most appropriate and moving ending.

  5. Yes this is terrific - I love the simple refrain - and the second stanza seems to me to be what Tuesday Poem is all about - well, what being a poet is all about, really... thanks Pam and Cam.