Words of WonderThe second music - Annie Lighthart

Now I understand that there are two melodies playing,
one below the other, one easier to hear, the other

lower, steady, perhaps more faithful for being less heard
yet always present.

When all other things seem lively and real,
this one fades. Yet the notes of it

touch as gently as fingertips, as the sound
of the names laid over each child at birth.

I want to stay in that music without striving or cover.
If the truth of our lives is what it is playing,

the telling is so soft
that this mortal time, this irrevocable change,

becomes beautiful. I stop and stop again
to hear the second music.

I hear the children in the yard, a train, then birds.
All this is in it and will be gone. I set my ear to it as I would to a heart.

by Annie Lighthart


A few things went different from plan this week, resulting in some unexpected time to do… what? Combined with a spacious retreat day and special time in the company of horses and their people, this made for a week in which I’ve been more aware than usual of what Annie Lighthart calls ‘the second music’.

I know exactly what she means although I’d never have thought to describe it like that. It seems to be connected with the knowing what is happening while it’s happening, that subtle but important shift in perspective that is accessible to anyone but definitely seems to happen more with practice.

Makes me feel grateful, and alive.

And you? Does it speak to you? Can you hear it… now?


  1. Thanks Kristine for sharing this beautiful poem. For me it resonates particularly with this autumn time with the subtext of ‘falling’ of letting go, underneath the glory and celebration of the vibrant colours of the season… Lovely

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