A poem with no adherence to form about things in life that don't either.
The clouds are pouring over the horizon
Dark and foreboding, they cast a shadow over me.
My feet, which in the past on this ground had been so firmly planted
Start slipping and with great reluctance, I am set free.
I cast my eyes darkly, forward to the horizon
What once was so clear is obscured by the haze of uncertainty.
In my past repose, through my threshold, I eyed the gathering storm
Protected from the tempest by windows of familiarity.
Through the swirling darkness a ray of sunshine breaks through
My ramparts from which its' warmth and darkness draw me away.
No longer a nurtured child inside this gentle cocoon,
With equal parts hope and fear, I emerge to meet a new day.
All around me loses shape and focus,
What was once truth now appears only as mystery,
The path worn yet faded, weeds tall making it hard to see,
Insects bite the ankles, snakes coil or slither away and offer nothing.
I have stamina if that is all,
The field unlimited but no clarity,
Destination isn't yet a word, dew clings to the world.
The biggest obstacle is recklessness, selfishness - though survival teaches many things,
What fun I've had knocking around in the wilderness, not a place but a condition,
Love and passion overwhelm the body and the mind,
So much untempered desire and pain, like the wolf, alone, howling to the moon,
Stumbling in the darkness, I tightly grip any handhold.
I yearn for the memories of things that should have been,
Small comfort in the ever-expanding multiverse of parallel outcomes,
No regrets with choices made, only those not made,
Such is life outside of Eden.
Work hard, eyes forward, marching in formation,
A new life of responsibility and station,
A bringer of life, a maker of things, doing all that's right,
Keep in step for those who depend on you tonight.
The echoes of the wolf's howl have faded against the uncaring rocks,
Dreams go from day to night,
Love doesn't fade but no longer burns,
The carefree days of summer eventually end.
Atoms form molecules form substances.
Perceptions form thoughts form ideas.
Substances, building blocks, physical embodiment of ideas.
Ideas small and great, material goods, decisions, livelihood, relationships, politics, choices ever expanding.
Choices multiply, growing at an exponential rate, complication of ever-increasing complexity,
Consequences follow complexity, thoughts of 10 follow realities of 40,
Some days we marvel at the maze and others get lost in it, terrified.
There are people to whom we become accustomed,
Who's faces we long to see, who's voices we long to hear,
Parents, children, friends, loves, we want them to be close,
Their essence infuses our souls,
They are there and then gone,
We catch only glimpses of them among the speckles of sunlight and shadows through the trees,
We draw close for a moment and then pull away,
We learn to rejoice in those few, precious, short-lived occasions when everything is good.
I talk but am not heard,
I raise my voice but am not noticed,
I yell and affect no change,
I scream and am drowned out by the noise around me,
I write, create, plead and demonstrate,
But my language is unknown, my voice doesn't carry,
My mind unsilenced and my spirit irrepressible.
We live as neighbors, or miles away, or thousands of miles away from each other
On this massive globe, 25,000 miles around, 92 million miles from the sun, just a fraction of the three and three quarters billion miles from the sun to the outer reaches of the solar system
The next star 4.2 light years away in a small cluster of stars, a spiral arm, 25,000 light years from the center of the galaxy
The Milky Way, one of countless galaxies, gliding through space towards inevitable collision - destruction - and then creation?
Our differences here are small, yet those are the things our minds can grasp.
Connecting dots from person to person,
The outline random chaos or universal truth?
Breathe, eat, drink, hope, hate, live, love,
So much in common but yet divided,
Unity, so simple to comprehend until you try.
I am sometimes humored by those whose perfect faith gives them perfect knowledge of the unknowable,
God must be beyond our comprehension, at least beyond mine,
A search for answers only leaves more questions,
God invisible, undetectable - evidence surrounds, indisputable,
Are we not here, isn't the universe in perfect balance of physical forces?
Aren't flowers lovely and people - merciful and merciless, kind and cruel, brilliant and dull?
Isn't the word man's attempt at grasping what can't be grasped?
The word belongs to man, the world belongs to God.
What good is free will without discipline, study, responsibility?
Do the wolf and the rocks have free will? Man stands apart with his burden,
Man can't live like the wolf, instinctive, wild,
Instinct is gone, destructiveness instead, a wild man is less than the wolf.
A child must learn to be Man.
Did you hear about the man of few gifts and talents?
Of course not, he lives apart, torn away, forced into a lonely existence,
Family, friend, acquaintance, witness, passer-by, he knows none,
On a parallel plane, not interacting, removed.
Each day he rises, lives a life of principle, remembers, endures, accepts, is that enough?
Each day, only one wish, a life of value, what is the measure of a life?
Once again I stand with my feet firmly on the ground,
Layer upon layer of history below me,
Dirt, granite, sandstone, fossil, shale, oil, diamond,
Abraham, Homer, Virgil, Michelangelo, Leonardo, Kay and Donald and the billions of others who were either the stone or the grist,
Myself, the sum of all that has come before,
Now I understand - that some things can't be understood.
Shaped by all that exists now,
Standing on shoulders of giants, philosophers, geniuses, criminals, fools,
the good, bad and mediocre,
My starting place defined, moving ever forward along the plane,
Wide enough for many paths - my path is my own.
The empty fields wait all winter for the seed and sun and rain,
Ah, but they aren't completely empty, last harvest leavings, scavenging quail and deer, picking through the remains,
In the spring the field sends forth its issue, first an even green, food for the caterpillars,
If the seed is good, the rains and temperature moderate, a summer ever rising,
A day or two to take in the wealth of our toil before the harvest,
Before the fields lay bare for winter, but not completely bare,
We walked these fields and no harvest is perfect, our footprints and some seed is always left behind.
The storm clouds have passed and the sky cleared just in time for the setting sun,
The long shadows cover the ground, mine mixed with the others, bouncing across the fallen leaves,
As twilight arrives, the stars of the Milky Way above are brilliant in the clear sky,
In this moment of peace I am content with simple joy,
I marvel at the magnificence, I feel engulfed with the fullness of life,
As I think of those I have loved, all seems clear,
I am tired, I think of morning, a new day, and close my eyes.