it's winter now

what's the world like now

asked my father from his bed

and my mother there next to him

lying still, nearly dead

it's winter now, i tell them

the trees they have shed

but their leaves are a carpet

on the floor of our forest

i love how they rustle

as i walk through their stories

each one a cosmos,

the lifetimes they hold

each leaf a land

of magnificent cathedral

and mazes of whorls that belong

to that leaf and no other

the river is cold and her song

rolls in air

such silence and abundance

still, yet in motion

air dances with cheek

birds dancing with air

everything muted

shades of silver and grey

birches lurching like ghosts

a party of the dead

all talking and laughing

each one with a story

the whole forest, dad,

is just infinite stories,

because as soon as one finishes,

another begins

you'll be one of those stories soon

you already are

we are already dirt

and we are so beautiful as dirt

when our fingers are ash and our bones are dust

and our blood is dry and our corpse is a gift

and the earth eats our offering

and trees drink with their limbs

when our lungs stop inflating

bronchioles withered and shrivelled

like the leaves that have fallen

every crinkle of oak

and the shades that they turn

as i hold them to Sun

now gold now ochre

in the soft gasp of air

and I watch as the breeze

travels thru town

brushing souls as their leaves

fall to the ground

cascade thru the air

tumbling soft

as if distant from time

as if held quite aloft

as if taking these moments in their final descent

as a prayer to honour the lives that they led

you too will tumble, land, rustle on floor

among the dead shapes of others

with corpse of grandmothers

sinking, returning,

with the soles of my feet

every contour and curve

writhes with the earth

draws circles and suns

as the soil lifts and hums

and i breathe in her nectar,

awakened from slumber

I can't tell you

how delicious

the mud tastes

in my mouth

that's how the world is now, dad

it may sound familiar

and yet it has changed

because no two of those leaves

will be the same shape tomorrow

forever shifting and waving

I could cry when i think

that This Really Is It

this moment the last

that will ever exist

and yet then,

there's another

Unique, of itself,

with just as lovely a flavour

and its own safety to savour

so i take comfort in knowing

these cycles go on

and i love every moment,

every sight, every smell

and i know, dad, you'll be gone soon

and mother, you too

back to earth, back to soil

and I'll weep when you do

but please know, while I'll miss you

you live on in me

in my blood and my eyes and in every single tree

we are never forgotten

our children remember

every line they inspect on their grandfather tree

every cloud they point out in the canvas of sky

every acorn they pick from the fruit bearing earth

every morsel they eat that's been fed by the rain

every moment they pause

with Sun on their skin

their bodies remember

every ancestral aching

aching with the joy of being in dance

with the miracle and play

of earthly abundance

Daddy, I'll miss you

Mummy, i love you

but you'll never be far

you'll always be with me

be in peace, go in peace

you have nothing to fear

My life is a prayer now

a dance in your honour

every moment i wake

and every moment i dream

is with you

and all our mothers,

and fathers, and siblings

My life and this body are a sacred ceremony

to do all that was meant

in earthly testimony

the sun will still shine

the moon will still rise

and we're in that mix somewhere

we're all there, rejoicing



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audio version The privilege of contemplating privilege The privilege of education The oppression of education The privilege of oppression The privilege to never need to question our backgrounds to mak

written on 21 March 2020 ~ As dusk falls, the whole world, Navy and still, two short months,  and a century ago A mist clung to our windows then,  A memory of peach walls and linen The resonance of

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With blessings, Kate