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The Path to Winter

November 7, 2011

Walking down my woodland path
I saw the leaves had fallen.
The geese flying south
will see sunlight;
I remain, rooted in earth,
watching night fall.

Life’s no battle
for winning or losing.
Victory tastes like ashes
when it perpetuates things
whose time has come.
Only deathless defeat, defiant,
lights a path
through the labyrinth.

Our masks drop off like leaves.
Illusions dwindle in the darkness.
Here we are freed
of the burden of perfection.
In this topsy-turvy mad world
we can only run through the streets
and cry: Here I am. Shall we dance?

(Entropy is zero
in a perfect crystal at zero kelvin;
I would rather have joy and sorrow,
and the gift of your forgiveness.)

If I have wronged,
let me atone.
If I have hesitated,
let me spring free.
If I have doubted,
turn those doubts
into questions
that lead the way.

The descent asks only this:
Be honest,
live plainly,
love openly;
try to understand
that which of the mysteries are unknowable
is a mystery itself.

Cuevas de Arta, Mallorca

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 30, 2011 8:55 pm

    Thanks so much for this poem, Gleomstapa! I want to leave a comment, but it seems there is little I can add to this. I like the lines about turning doubts into questions – that rings very true for me these days…

  2. December 5, 2011 3:21 pm

    It’s interesting you pick out those lines, because those are some of the ones I doubted most over; they were originally about transforming doubt into certainty, until I realized that much as I may wish for certainty in my life, that’s not actually a world I want to live in. There needs to be a place for doubt, but surely it can’t be the endpoint … so where do we go from there?

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