Sunday, November 26, 2017

That Farther Shore

When the angel of death
arrives at my bedside,
like the ferryman
coming around the bend
of the river,
plying his oar
with determination,
pulling alongside
and beckoning me in,

When I gaze at him,
my bed the shore,
wondering how to make
my earth-bound body
traverse the space between us
without falling,

I think I will trust
that the air will support me,
entering that bright darkness
interested in discovering
what comes next.

Yes, I think I will trust.

My life has been a voyage
of wonder and amazement.
I have made this journey,
head tipped back,
and grinning at the sky.
Trees have danced for me,
dogs and babies smiled,
my heart brimming with
the dazzle
of this beautiful world,
who performed her best
sunrises and sunsets for me,
draping the mountains 
with breathtaking mist,
always whispering
"watch this!" and then,
watch this!"

I have long loved
the stories of people
who rose - and rise -
from their heartbreaking situations
with hearts courageous as lions,
roaring their love of life
even as the hunter
raises his rifle,
not cowering,
walking into the darkness
with full hearts,
with dignity, with pride.
No surrender.

Yet when that dark angel 
comes for me,
I think I will surrender.
I will ride that bed-boat
out into the cosmos,
transfixed by all the stars,
wrapped in clouds of transformation,
soaring through the heavens,
breath held in awe.

The river of amazement
will carry me,
as it carried me
through this life,
to my next destination,
where I hope I will find loveliness
to equal or surpass
that of this world,
where I will meet
lost loved ones,
and furry tails
will thump in welcome.

At the end,
I will say
that, all of my life,
I have loved most
this earth and its beauty.
In trust, I will step into
the ferryman's boat,
ready to see what lies
on that farther shore.

Ha. I may not be that brave at all. Philosophizing after a hospice workshop. I may be a total wimp. Though in such a circumstance, there is little point in fighting. LOL. For certain, I will miss the beauty of this world. Which I hope to enjoy for many years yet.


  1. Whoa! When did you 'throw' this one together oh prolific creative one?!

  2. I call this graceful acceptance. So beautifully penned Sherry.

  3. Trust the air.
    That can be hard at times.

    When my time comes, (and this is where you surely will find me abit morbid) I want to walk out into the woods and just disappear. I will find a tree, or maybe a bear and rejoin the earth.

    I know it will rob many of saying goodbye, so maybe I will have a party to say goodbye, right before.

    Perhaps that will be my acceptance that time has come.

    Lovely done Sherry.

  4. Ha, the First Nations people here at one time took some elders who had died deep into the forest and perched them in trees. Sort of like the sky burials in Tibet. I like those pods they have where you get planted in the ground and a tree grows on top of you. I would like that.

  5. Sherry, no one who has known you will doubt at all that you have loved the earth and its beauty! And everyone will remember that you loved the stories of people....who rose. You will traverse that space with dignity and with strength! You will have made your mark in the world. A wonderful poem, Sherry.

  6. head tipped back,
    and grinning at the sky.. that's the way to live and leave.. you love the earth too much for it to let you go except on your own terms! A wonderful poem.

  7. Wherever you go, whenever you go (bravely or properly cautious of the unknown), everyone left behind will see you in the face of the wild--in my mind, wolves smile with your eyes, tree branches dance with your rhythm, the wind sing your words... We know what you love and how much, and we love you for it.

  8. I love this. such a lovely acceptance and "trust the air". this stuck with me so strong. I hope my mother trusted the air.

  9. Thank you for sharing these deeply meaningful thoughts of passing over. Dying is our last courageous act, and you show that it is at least possible.

  10. Thank you, my friends for your beautiful comments. I especially love those smiling wolves.

  11. So true. If we are fully satisfied with our life, then transition to another realm must not be difficult.

  12. Such a beautifully evocative write, Sherry! Especially love; "I have long loved the stories of people who rose - and rise - from their heartbreaking situations with hearts courageous as lions, roaring their love of life."

  13. Stunning poem. It's a journey in reflection of itself, and you so humbly direct us through it, with joy and so we land, together, for the next stage - in thoughts and hopes that "not quite yet" - there are still more songs to hear, more stories and poem to rise, more people to touch.

  14. Oh, if I could only meet my end with such acceptance, such expectation of what lies beyond. I guess no one truly knows until they are at that eternal door.

  15. where I hope I will find loveliness
    to equal or surpass that of this mworld

    It is good to maintain hope as it may sometimes work itself to make things happen!


  16. Sherry, this is an absolutely beautiful poem. I love your love of this earth. I share that, and I especially like your words, "watch this". We're part of quite a show.

    I like that this is part of a grieving process. I must join you in this wise process.

    Thank you for guiding me here today and thanks for your kind email.

  17. the world is better for you being in it, Sherry ~


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