“The Center Cannot Hold”
reflections on a Walk
Where weathered rock and flowing water meet
When hot, moist air retreats at summer’s end;
Above, the vivid boughs do speak of fall
While underfoot the earth prepares for sleep.
The sparrow hops upon the iron rail
While under trees cicadas speak their death.
The spider web is sparkling with the dew
The muted hew of dirt is underfoot
While I, whose legs are far too often crossed
Burden the path with far too heavy steps.
How do I come here free from worldly thoughts?
Not Chevalier but Walker is my aim.
Where do I walk when walking is my choice?
With no prescribed agenda to be met?
My life of now, encompassed by this place,
Responsibility confines my walk
Crossed only when I dare to stray from that
Which is my chosen path for future walks.
What is my center now will soon be changed
As I move here and there across the space
Where in the world shall I myself be placed?
Self-centric? Or perhaps just lost in space.
Dreaming or waking? When do I best know
“To sleep, perchance to Dream; Ay, there's the rub.”
Does present ever fail to draw from past?
How many feet have travelled this same path?
Or in my travels have I made my own
Path winding on, from birth until my death?
“Slouching to-wards Bethlehem to be born”
Towards Second Coming on a night ride home.
As sirens sound above the falling rain
And light no longer streams from overhead
Self-consciousness rises within my breast
As too infrequently do I here stray;
What here is safe? How far can I go on?
Beyond the known and then to further press?
I know much less than I should perhaps know
About this place that is my center now.
Reflecting here I do critique myself
On what I see and what I choose to not.
For in the end when all is said and done
The path of life is never travelled twice.