Wednesday, May 11, 2016

If We Knew Then.........


Parksville, Vancouver Island



Did we understand,
when we agreed to inhabit these bodies
and grow our souls,
when we consented
to coming to earth at this time,
that we were coming to behold
and give testimony,
to give voice to the voiceless,
to stand against injustice in solidarity,
to bear witness and to mourn?

Did we know it would break our hearts
a hundred times a week,
that we would grieve so many losses,
start over so many times?

Did we know we would be strong enough?

We accepted the  earthly body,
whatever the cost.
Because we either remembered,
or were given a glimpse of
the sheer, breathtaking beauty of this world,
how it shines.

We would do it all again
for the sheer joy
of watching tendrils of clouds 
kiss a mountaintop,
the everlasting beauty 
of the silver shining sea,
for the exhilaration of falling in love,
the joy of bringing forth our children,
for the privilege of old age, 
and peacefulness,
for the love of blue sky and birdsong,
and sunsets,
and a brand new day starting over 
every morning.

And if we get the chance,
to do it all again,
we'll say "yes!"
so we can love it all,
in all its pain and glory,
just one more time.


This poem is my response to Rebecca Del Rio's poem, "The Pact", featured in Larry Robinson's Poem of the Day. She wrote that "it was broken before we arrived, the pact with life". That our work, immersed in mourning, is to turn loss into love. That resonated with me........ It made me think about all the horrible things we hear about daily, that have been getting me down, and yet how beautiful, still, this planet is, what a gift these lives of ours are. 

9 comments:

  1. I've been told I am an soul and perhaps this is my last journey. I was told I have done all I was meant to do. There is a relief in that belief. I will be glad to be through.

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  2. So beautify, Sherry. Having called, an "old soul", your poem resonates, with me.

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  3. Some lovely lines in this, Sherry. "the sheer joy
    of watching tendrils of clouds
    kiss a mountaintop" really resonated with me - perhaps being surrounded by mountains, as I am, I have been imbued with certain visceral images. I, too, have thoughts about the pact we make for the privilege of being granted a life. Maybe if more of humankind could come to regard it that way ... but (sigh) if only wishing made it so, what a wonderful world it would be.

    I enjoyed the Parksville shots - love that area ... well, all of the Island, actually.

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  4. Yes, I think we would do it again for the pure joy! There are difficult times, but I don't think anyone would give up the experience!

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  5. oh Sherry this beautiful poem reminds me of some lines of a famous Bengali poet Jibananda Das. to quote(though translation mars the spirit):
    Shall return again to the Dhansiri banks of Bengal
    May be as a brahmini kite or a myna if not as a human
    Or a crow of dawn in this land of autumn harvest festival
    Will come one day sailing on mists to sit in the orchard shade
    I could be a duck, tying a lass's tinker-bells on my ruby feet
    I'd glide the day on pond exuding
    water spinach scent
    Will return once more for the love of this Bengal's rivers, fields and meadows
    On this mournful green banks moist with Jalangi's waves

    Not a good translation. I could not render the cadences of the magical words of the original.





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  6. ooops, the poet is Jibanananda Das

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  7. This is beautiful and true and real in so many ways, Sherry. I wouldn't hesitate to say yes. Not for a second. ♥

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  8. I think we still knew in the first moments of our life but life gradually lets us forget it. This is a beautiful poem

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  9. How glorious and beautiful to think of inhabiting these bodies as a choice. I love this, Sherry.

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