Both

We never know.
That morning

I kept my hand
+++on our ailing cat’s belly
+++as he purred.

In communion with him
+++even while
+++grief tore through me.

Some say not to borrow grief
+++before time
+++but to
+++stay in the moment.

Yet

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Bardo

Self-portrait (2/11/2023).

I’ve been trying to be immortal.

Now I can’t pee right,
and my foot is swollen.

 

 

 

 

Friends have died recently. Others are facing it first hand. My younger siblings have already experienced the death of a spouse or a stroke or

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Shadow: grief and matri

Shadow the cat, on his couch ramp

This morning, our crippled elderly cat would not eat.

In recent years we’ve nursed this 16-year-old through one crisis after another, always watching him rebound to his usual, sweet, attention-demanding self.  Now he’s on shots for arthritis and extensive intervertebral disc degeneration.

He gets around with a hind end that stumbles and flops. The vet says the palliative shot keeps him from feeling pain, but I imagine that he is doing more physical damage every time he moves—especially when he

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Flow

"Poise," by Mike Shell. Red leaf floating in water on blacktop, with reflected light. Cradle of Forestry, Pisgah National Forest, NC.

There is nothing in this moment
+++that stays.
+++Nothing to guide me,
+++Nothing to hinder me.

Those are all thoughts and feelings
+++that rise and fall.
They come from nowhere
+++except from
+++previous thoughts and feelings.

Yes, there is sensation and emotion,
+++the brain’s tools for
+++sifting through

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Nothing comes

Twisted Snow Gums, Charlottes Pass, Kosciuszko National Park, 14th May 2009. Photo by Jack Heyward.

So difficult to sit doing nothing
unless enforced by the presence of others.
Alone, I want to be busy every moment.

What makes me uneasy with stillness?
Uneasiness itself?

I’m not doing anything!

You are breathing, pumping blood.
Holding down the chair.
Filling space.
Dying.

No. That word
came from elsewhere than cleverness.
That word is
closer to the bones.

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