Of What Remains?
Giving’s different now for me as final days draw nigh and I let go
Of acquisition as a way of life that dates
Back to the days when hunters gathered in
For coming years of lean.
My Scottish forbearers loved the ‘pipes’ and filled the bag
With stores of air, then punched it into drone and tune
Intent to fill the bag, while chanting indirect
Out of its gathered store.
Our freezer, bin, and pantry, cistern from the river,Then too, financial tools can store,
computer, notebook, elders – all bespeak the wonder
And potential of a stored-up asset for that day.
In this bright day of hope – though just as fragile as the
Rest – even more than the captured sight and sound
Of mediated thought – ephemeral all.
There’s freedom in the knowledge that it all goes back
To naught that others might these remnants seize
And twist them to their ends – it frees one
To relax and use what’s needed to the full
Then let it go and move on with the day -- like improv –
Focus bigger than the sprightly interaction
Of our transient joy.
And so I find my getting shift to giving – no longer
Fit to steward – as the questions rise – where best to
Give – or is such ours to choose?
Maybe it’s best to give into the wings as some stage-
Actor goes about a part in this or that short drama’s
Small delicious times of interaction –
Or just to be consistent with one’s core.
We give away our time and tools and treasures – wrought in
Craft or thought -- but even in so doing see
That mostly what’s now given are but shells and husks
Reminders to the others of a life once lived
Now gone to dust with echoes only in the hills
Of one such vibrant life.
Then the first of circling vultures come,
To strip for others what’s
Still left from us – we see or sense them –
First to take the undefended turf and tasks that
Filled our days and sucked up praise and pay and
Thought, without remorse.
The quest for things not far behind, though viewed as crass
Thought best to wait the closing moments of the siege – while
Others pain away the hours and days,
Unseen – till days when, source
Forgot, the others did not notice
How things slipped away nor
Whence they went.
It gives a paltry sense of power to give with purpose
Fore this hour which wanes so fast to
Nothingness for us – a last and futile push
Against the forces that impinge on us
Throughout our days
Unnoticed till the pressure
On the flaws of Structure
Crush the hulls of this
Frail craft in life.
So, ‘what to give?’ if ‘give at all” – or let it go
And watch the show of family friends and strangers play
Their lives out there for all to see like
Some great closing sale when Christmas season
Failed to generate sufficient sale to warrant
Further effort on our part.
We see their values – use or trade – based on accountings
Elsewhere made – not in themselves for valued splayed –
So fiendish-like the cleanup crews sweep
Clean the hull of larger stuff then crows
And worms remainders scuff till
All is cleansed save creaky hull
Which rust and time or cutters
Cull for parts and substance
Till all nothingness remains.
So what of all that bag of air which Scotsmen played
To make that Air? ’Tis gone and bag
Long since collapsed, the pipes broke
Down and in their box, but what
Lives on in hearts of men –
The tunes they played
That soaked right in.