for Samuel Beckett

How like the sun each day
having no alternative
he would rise to go
to his writing table.

How he understood
that no utterances
could ever give shape
to the chaos of life.

How by simplicity
he engaged vast ideas
in tiny trickles of
closely guarded language.

How knowingly he faced
that great avalanche
of fortuitous events
we call the universe.

How while waiting
for the hour to strike
he hoped that it would not
and feared that it would.

How he eliminated
the superfluous
to bring forth
fundamental sounds.

How his face
turned somber
in the presence
of indiscretion.

How he went silent
when confronted
with the fact
of his generosity.

How a smile came to his eyes
during the final sentence
as he chanced upon the words:
Oh to end again!

Copyright © 1996 Raymond Federman