Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Kayaking the Wandering Stream

The wandering stream of thought
that runs through your mind
is ever flowing,
and ever changing.
Leave it too long,
and you may not recognize it
when you return.
Its altered course,
its newly carved channels,
its deepening pools,
may cause you to wonder,
“Is this really me?”

The evidence of erosion
may frighten you.
Fond memories drifting away
within translucent ripples
my cause you to chase along the shoreline,
trying to hold the stream still in your mind.
But the stream will not hold still.
You must hold still.
Chasing the stream to its end
where it pours with all others
into an ocean of memories
would surly cause madness.

Sit instead on the sandy bank
in the calm of morning,
and observe the flow.
You will soon understand
that the stream deposits
just as much as it washes away.
It sustains life within its waters,
and along its meandering path.
It turns time with its steady current.
Oh, if we could only stop it,
but we cannot,
and we must not try.

These wandering streams of thought
that run through our minds
ever flowing,
and ever changing,
are for each of us alone
to kayak upon.
And the best we can do
is paddle in the present,
trying not to drift
too far into the past,
or paddle too quickly
into the future.

RLJ - 06/12/2015

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Going to a Funeral

I got up this morning
to continue my journey.
It’s a long goddamned grind it is.
The trip to my funeral I mean.
I’ve been at it for as long as I can remember,
and even before I can remember
when I didn’t realize where I was going;
when I was a toddler wandering aimlessly;
and later riding my tricycle
half the time in the wrong direction,
away from my funeral,
and toward something else.
Toward something I can no longer recall.
Toward something that became
just the memory of a memory.
Toward something that once was
an audible and visual recollection
that repeated itself again and again
in the back of my mind,
and then slowly faded away.
It was a recollection from another life.
A recollection of the end of that life.
The one before this one.
The one in the wrong direction.
But I’ve been pointed right now
for almost fifty years,
walking the zigzag path
toward my funeral,
knowing full well that I’ll likely drop dead
a few days before arriving.
But with the help of the living,
I will show up on time.