Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A Poem: For Grace

Published on my niece Grace's birthday and dedicated with love to all members of my extended family, but particularly my father and mother. A heartfelt thank you to my family and my many teachers, both experiences and people, for their contributions to my life which do not go unrecognized. Namaste.

She knew heaven.
It touched and moved her,
Air around her arms,
earth beneath her feet.

Years passed as days might pass.
Clouds drifted across skies,
Sometimes cirrus wisps,
sometimes, after the great storms of summer,
Pillars of cumulus, colored in the pinks and yellows
Of sunrise and sunset.

Some days fog wrapped her in warm humidity
And there were times of pure heat from days of sun.

There was night and the waxing and waning of moons.

She watched sparks flicker in the air and earth,
Listened to the humming movements
of insects
and creatures
That chattered in unknown languages.

Leaves rustled in whispers
that traced movements under brittle cover
and further
Delved into the decaying detritus.

She knew these,
not by their names,
But by their innocence. There was beauty.
There was suffering.
Not being separate from either,
she knew neither
In it's separate forms.
The distinctions we might hew and tender
were absent,
And her eyes tendered a calm
no vision or wind could ripple.

She grew from the ground in a reversal of eons
that weighted tedious.
An accumulation of sand and pebble
and ragged shards of rock
Burned and molted back into wholeness -
the fragments of our exiles
Reunited in cosmic glistening.

What was it that bore and birthed her
from everlastingness?

Of us, for us, her longing
that she could not sing the rightness of it,
The way the birds could sing,
picking up where they left off
After each passing storm.

So slowly, in years or moments,
she lifted that weight
and constricted her abdomen,
Breathing in and directing the shape that she was up,
first whispering,
then a hum,
And then deepening the vibration
until the hum became a note, a lullaby,
a blessing.

To rise and rising,
first buffeted, then carried
on that great wind, ever towards us, that rose,
no longer becalmed, but at peace.