My friend walked through the valley of death,
where flowers fall from the shadows;
caught in the cleft of the path of his life
he had followed the stream till it narrowed.
The current in time drew him away
and he moved through the shade and the hollows,
by the light of the dark he found his way,
for darkness is easy to follow.
Thorns of loss pricked at his skin
and he coughed on the dust of his sorrow,
and all the while he choked as he walked,
expelling the tail he had swallowed.
Till alone on the slope where the wind never blows,
as mute as the tears of his widows,
he climbed the bare hill in the black of his night,
rising at last to the shallows.
And there on the grass in the white of the moon,
a breath softly winnowed
the chaff from the grain of his heart and his pain,
and he walked from the mouth of the barrow.
Now he sings songs of the dark
in a voice quiet and hallowed,
for my friend has walked through the valley of death,
where flowers fall from the shadows.