Not Clinging to What Cannot Be Grasped

Not ClingingWinding way down unknown path
I paused to look below and then behind the Moon,
Within the gloom was afraid that I was haunted
By my past or possible future—
Weighed down by chains of those I felt I’d wronged….
Those I never stopped to help along the way.
Ghosts were inside my house,
As were the ashes of a loved one,
Placed first upon the mantle, then a closet shelf,
Finally in my basement—
As I was unable to let go,
Could not cast them to freedom of the wind,
Nor let them flow upon the river tides of time.
My fear was equal to the absence of love.
As I warmed my heart before the fire of Presence,
Took deeper breath to challenge fear,
Then gave away what was never mine to keep.
Slowly I found how enlightenment
Requires new place of spaciousness,
While ghosts require a tighter holding on.
This is no myth when sharp knife of haunting
Re-ignites the pain of long ago.
With gentle prayers and consolation,
I let the shadows go, buried ashes
Along with past shades of dark memories,
Released on high mountains and deep rivers
Of the great wide Earth and Moon and universe of stars.
Though red Moon may look down at night,
It has no room within my house.
No longer do I cling to what cannot be grasped.
When phantoms come, I offer cup of green tea,
Then show them open door—
Primordial spaces where they can find their rest.
No longer do I live in fear or anger—
No longer do I live with constant grief.


One thought on “Not Clinging to What Cannot Be Grasped

  1. Fred – I found this poem thought provoking. I also assume that this would indicate that the ashes that were on your mantle and then in your basement have now been cast free. I am reading an interesting book by Ann Voskamp entitled – one thousand gifts. It basically focuses on how we can learn to live in grace each and every day. It seems to me that more of your recent poetry is shifting from the dark to the light. Keep writing you do have gift with words.

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