valley of shadow and ash – first draft
in this valley of shadow and ash,
i quake and tremble of the forward,
the backward keening out of view.
how to move on without losing
how to let go without-
to be present and awake to life in its simplicity :
the iguana crawl, crab scuttle, monkey swing
by tail or arm, the turtle flail in sand;- her time come
how to stop time to sketch in the eyes
how to steer the wheel of time-
instead we take humble steps, we scratch
days off calendars, we light candles,
in death, the dead are whole, not fractured
fragments of bygone eras.
for a moment, we can hold all of them-
the mischievous child, high school band leader,
college student, husband, father, teacher.
for a moment our hands are full.
and then we find them grasping the shadow
of what once was, but can never be stolen or revoked.
take comfort in the permanence
of impermanence of coalescing from body to spirit
of watching the moth alight from the window into wind
by annelies zijderveld (c)