EVENTIDE by Robert Stephen Hanchett
A vagrant breeze, tugging at tall grasses and dancing through the trees
a portrait of the wind within the frame of its touch.
Remembering all that's been forgotten, all the people lost
sketched within the outline of the present moment.
Dusk is sprinting up the side of the mountain
while legions of shadows quietly gather, conspiring
to consume the children of light, the ephemeral offspring of the stars
caught in the suspension of things
We live a twilight life.
Our youth, bravely marching forward in glorious forgetfulness
of what age cannot help recall.
Abiding always and too soon through a multitude of generations, as leaves that fall in Autumn
Cedar, Pine and Oak - Yucca, Creosote and Cholla
took no notice of my progress.
The mountain and desert trails I know so well as my heart
have already erased any trace of my passing.
We are not wise so much as endlessly scheming, nor great so much as hung in self-deception
nor kind so much as grounded in complacent cruelty, nor loving so much as relentlessly selfish.
We have destroyed so much more than saved, torn down so much more than built up
disregarded more than comforted those in greatest need, presumed more than understood.
To measure our days by the sun, our months by the moon, our years by the passing of seasons
To reckon our existence as the sum of whatever sadness or joy comes our way
To overlook what was hinted in ecstasy, or shouted in unexplained tragedy
To disregard the arbitrary nature in the brief turning of circumstance of the pause in eternity's flood
An old dog, near death, stared out at the horizon and
saw itself, at peace.
Though all I could see was a question and
not time enough to answer.
Whatever I have done or failed to do
along the reach of life's passing
Stillness yet inspires strength and even
The breeze that blows at gloaming
The darkness that descends with age
The suffering that arrives unexpectedly
The end that will never come