The thread

I was recently pointed towards a poem by the American poet William E Stafford.

It’s called ‘The way it is’.

In the poem, a beguiling idea is offered: that there is a thread in our lives, beneath the struggles of the day; amid the passing of the years, a secret cord of continuity.

It may, on occasion, be elusive for us’ and it may be hidden to others, but it is there, ‘among the things that change’, somehow leading us on, shaping the journey.

So here’s the poem. As ever, you will make of it what you will. But I suppose the question will be: is there a thread in my life?

The Way It Is

There’s a thread you follow. It goes among
things that change. But it doesn’t change.
People wonder about what you are pursuing.
You have to explain about the thread.
But it is hard for others to see.
While you hold it you can’t get lost.
Tragedies happen; people get hurt
or die; and you suffer and get old.
Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding.
You don’t ever let go of the thread.


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