Today, 16 October 2012, I treated myself to three books, a Peterson Field guide to Birds of Eastern and Central North America [I had just been on a bird walk], Billy Collins’ “The Art of Drowning” and Naomi Shihab Nye’s selection of poems called “What have you lost?” Before reading any of them, inspired by Naomi Shihab Nye’s title, I felt like writing.
What have I lost?
What have I lost? My youth young untried self dipping into an unknown world. Eyes half-shut, mouth open bewilderment and folly mixed I followed rules unspoken. What have I lost I mind losing? I lithe waist, a body quick to jump, run, turn cartwheels on the sand of each and every beach I ran on. Passions, lust and longing springing unbidden, greener than the grass my feet passed in carelessness. What have I lost that I do not know has passed by? Somewhere a whisper of apprehension. What if some opportunity is yet to offer and I forget such chance will also pass? Choice is not for tomorrow. Now, on the fulcrum of this moment, remember to dance to seize with seeing eyes whatever loss and sorrow gives. How else is a life built? Each present passes by forever into loss, no longer now. Age is the sand and stone and rock on which I stand. Joints ache weary eyes need specs a phoenix from the ash of sorrowed time looks to the future. Considers, maybe, Can I be wise? Life’s adventure, next, might yet surprise.