Oh do you have time

    to linger

    for just a little while

    out of your busy

    and very important day

    for the goldfinches

    that have gathered

    in a field of thistles

    for a musical battle,

    to see who can sing

    the highest note,

    or the lowest,

    or the most expressive of mirth,

    or the most tender?

    Their strong, blunt beaks

    drink the air

    as they strive


    not for your sake

    and not for mine

    and not for the sake of winning

    but for sheer delight and gratitude -

    believe us, they say,

    it is a serious thing

    just to be alive

    on this fresh morning

    in the broken world.

    I beg of you,

    do not walk by

    without pausing

    to attend to this

    rather ridiculous performance.

    It could mean something.

    It could mean everything.

    It could be what Rilke meant, when he wrote:

    You must change your life.
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