This Grey Dawn

                    25 July 2003

The fire in my bones receding now,

as I approach the rainy arc,

and slowly drift toward the last good night;

As I turn my face to unknown years,

 of hope and struggle,

that animate my past and present;

And experience each day fading into night,

And night to another day,

this grey dawn awakens a solitary reflection –

How shall I use this new day,

this moment that drifts,

into the diurnal round,

Like a dream,

like the flight of a nightingale,

into the darkening woods of evening;

What do I know?

How must I act?

What may I hope?

These eternal inquiries,

 of the philosophic quest,

emerge in deep disquiet;

As the fire from within no longer burns,

out of control, an irresistible internal combustion,

its own reason for being.

The fire flickers now,

fades unexpectedly,

grows bright again, then dim,

Reducing day by day the hope and struggle,

to dying embers, flickering coals,

ashes fading to the dark of night;

Today’s new dawn,

with this dark forest beside my cabin,

and this shining lake before me like a jewel,

Will not rise again,

with assurance and bravado,

as when the fire in my bones was all;

The morning grows to daylight,

brief hours of work and effort,

energy and accomplishment, less each day

This fire in my bones receding now,

in years that bring the philosophic mind,

does not inspire an ode on immortality;

My heart is moved this grey morning,

as I approach the rainy arc,

by turns to weariness and hope,

A poet from my youth,

speaks to me again in a different voice,

here upon this distant shore –

                    “How shall I use these dangling hands,

                              these feet of mine that draw me on like dreams?”


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