Never Without a Trace
Standing by the river that has carried me this far,
its course passing far beyond my own horizon,
I think of how little my life has played in its grand scale.
Coming, going, the waterbirds don’t leave a trace.
Or so I thought of life, my own being complete
and having little to show for my passing.
But then, looking down on its sandy shore,
I saw the tracks of a heron’s path and thought
of the child I once held, the fruit of my loins
traveling along that same river on a course
far ahead of my own, yet echoing my own,
one of many that fill the river to its banks.
The prompt for Poetics: Stepping Off the Sidewalk, from Laura at dVerse ~ Poets Pub is to use one of eight given fragments from the mystic poets in a poem. I have used “Coming, going, the waterbirds don’t leave a trace,” a line attributed to Dōgen, a 13th Century Japanese Buddhist monk.
Image source: Minneapolis Institute of Art
~ Heron on Branch, by Ohara Shōson ~
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Relocation of native populations.
Relocation in times of war.
Relocation of detainees.
Presidential orders bordering on inhumanity.
There is nothing time honored about any of this.
Internment of undesirables, from Native Americans to Japanese Americans, was wrong, but that doesn’t mean the tradition doesn’t continue in the United States, as seen in the continued incarceration of detainees, particularly children at the US southern border, under conditions that are unacceptable and, more importantly, inhumane.
Image source: © Michael de Adder (Facebook)
Years of absence taking
their toll. Distance traveled
without regret to fulfill
a heart’s wishes becoming regret
at separation from those left behind.
Always missing them,
of course. No real concern,
other times. Phone and video.
Travel. All more than enough.
Most times. Must be the years.
This day is different.
their value invalid
they cry for affection
never truly valued
these innocent souls
torn from loving arms
deprived of true contact
denial of any form of bond
for the mill of hatred
its stone turned
by a cycle of lies
My response to Quadrille #59 – Cycle, from Kim at dVerse.
A quadrille is a poem of 44 words(any form) using a prompt word, in this case “cycle.”
Image source: cbs.com