For the living there are offerings of flowers rising,
embroidered throughout valleys and mountains,
and green things that shimmy in rainfall and wind
and zigzag calls of feathered, furred,
the sleek and shelled creatures as if
nothing was awry, and the earth is at peace.
For the dead, perhaps silence, and sudden dreams of beauty
that cover the past, rescue the present or design a future
we know nothing about; their gardens beckon in ways
only mystics can conjur when everything is torn inside out.
The living, the dead; what truth can be said of them?
What falsehood separates them and us?
My heart speaks to those here; eyes weep for those gone.
And the blood of earth recapitulates with clusters of
snowdrops, marsh marigolds, wild roses, tiger lilies.
Wars indict humans by the roots of resolute trees.
Thousands of years we have mastered, failed, fallen.
Bitter seeds attempt to take hold
but cannot flourish forever nor
invade realms of Power beyond our ken.
There is wisdom we do not seek enough,
nor decipher well when we most need it.
And yet bees still labor happily;
redwing blackbirds trill their stories;
foxes hide and seek, nurture new life in the den.
I cover my head. I toil in time until unable.
I await an invitation to paradise as I tire.
But today, prayers for sweetness
and mercy for the living;
For the dying and dead,
a crying out,
a plea for safe passage,
a benediction uttered into deepest night
into deepest everything