In a still very tentative flexing of underused poetry muscles, the idea behind the poem below came to me so vividly that it had to be written, even if not well! It speaks to a sudden deep internal awareness that particles are more or less constant in the universe; so all of us, in a way, have an eternal existence.
When my human days are done
and I walk the path of the long goodbye
I will not be gone.
Will some particle of me take form
in rock or stone,
ruby’s heart or emerald’s gleam?
Or will my flash of green and red,
touched with gold,
draw your eye to the blur of hummingbird wings?
of the lake’s constant changing –
Is it there I’ll be?
Perhaps, in the creaking of branches
and the susurration of leaves,
you’ll sense a trace of me still.
Or maybe I’ll be a sprinkling
of stardust on indigo
somewhere far out in the universe.
It’s somehow comforting to know
that the particles that make up ‘I’
may scatter, but they (almost) never die!
February 7, 2018
I wrote my first poem before I could actually transcribe the words onto paper.
Then, in my teens, poetry and my deep connection to the natural world saved my sanity in an era when no-one considered the impact of significant loss and grief on an adolescent.
Every now and again, amid the roller-coaster demands of just living a life, the poetic impulse has bubbled briefly to the surface.
Now it feels as if it is time once again to tap into this part of me. But oh how rusty I feel, how hard it is not to become self-conscious, to lose the flow, to try too hard or not enough – I’m not yet sure which!