I know why you’re crying ~ Orbison & lang know why too

Sometimes the words bring a song to mind. This poem was in my thoughts this morning and as the words of it washed over me a melody rose out of words. And out of a melody rose k.d. lang’s wail, Crying.

Roy Orbison wrote about a cry arising from reasons much different than those I wrote about in this poem, and yet the source is much the same. It’s a cry from the center of the soul. It’s the deepest lament for a separation, a divide, a seemingly uncrossable gap.

But there is a significant difference in these laments. In the tears of one, you long for what you have lost and cannot ever possess. In the tears of the other, you long for what you’ve never had, but which longs for you to claim it. And in these tears, transformation awaits.

I Know Why You Cry

I know why you cry

In the quiet hollow times when no one is watching
While reading the passage of the lovers’ first kiss

I know why you cry

When the waves crash on rocky shores under an amber sky
When the music touches some forgotten place in your soul

You think it’s for love of another
You think it’s for connection to the world of beings and things
You think it’s for something grander than you

But it’s not

I know why you cry

Feel yourself at the bottom
Of a deep, deep well
Drowning in the tears
Of a lifetimes sorrow

I know why you cry

Because I cry too
At the bottom of my own deep well

I know why you cry

Because for a moment
I stopped
I listened
I looked

I saw the walls weep
I heard the walls whisper
And the walls said,


Not for the love of another


Not for the connection to life I could not feel


Not for the sense of purpose in some grand design


I know why you cry

Because I cry too

Longing for a love within
Longing for a connection to my own being
Longing for no more than to feel alive

I know why we cry

We cry, not for what is missing in our life
We cry for what we have not put into it

We cry, not for what others have not given us
We cry for what we have not given ourselves


When we give ourselves these
Our well becomes the mountain
Atop which we stand
Transforming our tears

They become gratitude
They become joy
They become love

And I will happily cry these tears everyday

For through them I see love more clearly
Following the trail they blaze, I find connection to all things
Tasting their salty nectar, I learn my purpose:

To love
To be generous
To live with grace, abandon, surrender, kindness, forgiveness

I know why you cry

Will you cry with me?

2 Responses to “I know why you’re crying ~ Orbison & lang know why too”

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  1. karen says:

    I read this poem quite often….love the poem and love the song…thankyou for both

  2. Patrick says:

    [smile] Thanks, Karen. And, you’re quite welcome.

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