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I am not done with my changes

Such little lives we live if only we would admit it.  All of us however fêted.  Marking out our  pathetic tiny snail trails as we go.  Imprinting what we do – good, bad, downright ugly through our little journey.  Imagining ourselves important or impotent when in fact neither is probably true.

Stanley Kunitz, born in a place that I ran (or rather more accurately staggered) last Autumn at a time when I thought I would never run again has it right in this poem.  I, me, mine … not at all relevant when you equate the microscopic me to the great landscape of time in which we exist.  Just let’s protect what we have – we can do our little bit by acting decently, by regarding others with an importance not by dint of  their shoes or their achievements or their accumulated wealth but just because.  Because they co-exist with us on this planet we all accidentally find ourselves on.

I have indeed walked through many lives.  All of them in this skin.  And I will not be done and I will not give up hope  until I draw my fatal last breath.  Never.  Not at all.  I am many layered and yet simple cored just like you … if we all accept that, the rest is blissfully uncomplicated.  I give you this in answer to the weekly photo challenge titled ‘Layered’ of which a delicious gallery of entries you will find here.

DSCF1705

The Layers

Stanley Kunitz

I have walked through many lives,
some of them my own,
and I am not who I was,
though some principle of being
abides, from which I struggle
not to stray.
When I look behind,
as I am compelled to look
before I can gather strength
to proceed on my journey,
I see the milestones dwindling
toward the horizon
and the slow fires trailing
from the abandoned camp-sites,
over which scavenger angels
wheel on heavy wings.
Oh, I have made myself a tribe
out of my true affections,
and my tribe is scattered!
How shall the heart be reconciled
to its feast of losses?
In a rising wind
the manic dust of my friends,
those who fell along the way,
bitterly stings my face.
Yet I turn, I turn,
exulting somewhat,
with my will intact to go
wherever I need to go,
and every stone on the road
precious to me.
In my darkest night,
when the moon was covered
and I roamed through wreckage,
a nimbus-clouded voice
directed me:
“Live in the layers,
not on the litter.”
Though I lack the art
to decipher it,
no doubt the next chapter
in my book of transformations
is already written.
I am not done with my changes.

PS:  The picture is taken at Vassieux-en-Vercors where people lived and died in a rather more profound way than I can ever begin to imagine.

141 Comments Post a comment
  1. Oohhh This is jist what i needed at the moment..😑😑😑😑😐

    Liked by 1 person

    October 16, 2017
  2. This is beautiful! I am always looking for poetry that expresses the wisdom of life and the journey for wholeness and meaning balanced with discernment. Thank you for sharing this.🙏🏻

    Liked by 1 person

    November 1, 2017
    • One of the greatest gifts of living in the US for me was immersing myself in the literature and poetry having only ever really known the usual suspects. Kunitz was a wonderful discovery and this poem particularly spoke to me. I was pleased to have a moment to share it ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

      November 1, 2017
  3. Good read 🙂 you may be interested on my post on impermanence. https://booksabbreviated.wordpress.com/2017/11/04/impermanence/

    Liked by 1 person

    November 6, 2017
  4. What a fantastic poem and poet. Thank you for introducing me to him too (and to you!) x

    Liked by 1 person

    November 9, 2017
    • What a lovely comment, Naomi! Thank you so much for taking the time to read and leave a nice remark and I am delighted that I have introduced you to a man whose work I admire very much 🙂

      Like

      November 12, 2017

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