Shaped By a Million Forces

A poem on transformation and change, and the practice of choosing a long view.

Image: Adina Voicu on Pixabay


Next time under sky:
Pause.
Tilt head high,
eyes slanted just so
in order to see
slow-rolling clouds
glide
mirror of life
(and we with it)
moving
just as the ancestors did:
succession of generations
each making
an indelible mark
crossing this world.

Some tread softly,
light with little mark
others: stormy, dark
each pattern it’s own
changing and shifting
with day’s wind.

Thoughts too
like clouds –
just observe.
Be more than each wisp.
Choose the long view:
the lifetime,
billion-year view
meeting you here and now.

The truth:
mirroring these clouds
we come right here
and then we are gone.
Unfurled,
everything we hold
precious dissolves
forming brief mass of matter
constantly shapeshifting
and susceptible
to elements of change.

High in mountains
or enveloped in wet fog,
find the deep memory
of touching a cloud.
Even if not this lifetime,
another.
Look still at each face now,
be reminded
of this passing.
Each line a story
told in fleeting moments,only knowing
small marks reflected
but a lifetime and beyond:
touch this too.

Next time under sky:
Pause.
Remember.

Shaped by a million forces
we are not one thing
but many.
We are not only this,
but past, present, and future
beyond grasping
constant
transformation
always at play
swirling
like water molecules
if we are
now
finally
ready,
willing to dance.

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