Monday, June 23, 2008

BECAUSE YOU ARE DEAD


They told me you can walk on water

on the path of white flowers

balanced on the surge, now in the full

moon. They say you will gather


because you are dead & know the way

now, where ashes do not matter.

Before you died the room was full of flowers.

After you died the flowers were still there


leaning this way & that, some touching

some not. Before you were dead the sun

blinded us, & went down. Now you are dead

noon & midnight hold their regular dance.


Do you really know the way home

& the undersides of everything? The old cat

sits at your bed & purrs. Your son

sees strange shapes, rainbows


& people going far away, their backs to us

on the petalled ocean, each step further, no rush.



This poem was written a few summers ago, never published. A friend told me that the local tribes believed that at the full of the moon, when the path of light is on the ocean, the dead follow the path to the land of flowers and the world of spirit. It would be nice to believe this.

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