Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Winter Comes – II

The Winter Comes – II
We age, we falter, lose our strength and die.
And some of us may idly wonder why.
But each of us, in this, have little choice –
These truths persist – that many would deny.
And some escape, awhile, the costs of age,
And when they see they can’t, they’re filled with rage –
And others may accept them, noting death
And all that comes before, with mindsets sage…

The leaf will yellow, wither then and fall –
And death, in time, will issue each its call,
For everyone that’s born, in turn, will die –
So aging, sickness, death, await us all…

While walking slowly once beside the sea,
I entered in a sort of reverie –
And thought I heard a voice, speaking low…
And this is what that spirit said to me –

“Oh live the life you’re given and rejoice,
Be grateful for your blessings, giving voice
To gratitude – in speech and in your deeds,
For in these things we still have each a choice.”

I listened then – and ever since, I’ve tried,
Despite the blow, despite the chance denied
That came so many times, to me and those
I knew and loved, to still be gratified…

For death has never held for me, the dread
That others might perceive in it, and yet
So many things are still unkempt and will,
I know, remain undone when I am dead.

And those, for whom the winds of chance have laid,
On me, a duty, though I’m disarrayed –
I would not leave them prey to woes that I,
By minding duty, could perhaps have stayed…

We age, we sicken, lose our health, descend,
As others then neglect or condescend...
And some, perhaps, might lend a helping hand –
Or not.  We struggle, lonely, till the end.

But walking on the street, in autumn, I
Can see the leaves, that one by one, will die,
Upon the trees – and strewn along the street.
Who grieves for them?  And who dares wonder why?

The conifers are green throughout the year.
With antifreeze evolved, they need not fear
The seasons cold.  But even they will pass  –
And who, for a fallen pine, will shed a tear?

Ah – life and death, like yang and yin entwined…
Who knows, whence life arises, whence the mind –
And where they go, when autumn’s winds have blown?
The winter comes. Take solace – and be kind…

For when we’re gone, the freezing winds will blow
And cover then the remnant leaves with snow.
But in its time, there’ll also be the spring –
And little birds will sing, as grasses grow…
2014 October 26th, Sun., 2:12 pm
Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, New York

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