• ashirk@gmail.com
  • Kijabe, Kenya


After my mother dies, I spend hours in the forest
looking for inarticulate answers,
silent whispers on winds,
connections, twisted and gnarled.

Fractals appear in roots and leaves,
each element repeated in the larger whole.
Seen echoes unseen.
Visible above describes invisible beneath.
Green veins carry life earth to sky and back.

My life circulates like this, a growing, flowing, ebbing twist
of forest of my chest.

She, like the leaf caught dancing on a spider web,
caught between here and beyond,
suspended by invisible string.

Don’t drop, not just yet.

I wonder if the waiting place between
heaven and hell is not for the departed,
but rather, those left behind,
clinging to connection.
As the vines cling to the big fig tree,
We cling to a space between earth and heaven.
We grasp at what is not ours to hold.

When we are ready, death is beautiful.
Every autumn, colors of wonder,
blood orange and burnt sienna are
expected, anticipated, longed for.
We capture stunning photographs of the death,
we wait eagerly for the funeral of the summer.
In these sacred moments
there is no mourning,
only marvel.

I learn this.
I am learning this.
I shall learn this.

I find a wisdom found in noticing
The beautiful and painful,
I look at life without blinking,
notice when great trees fall.
I remember remnants of my roots,
from severed stumps, I grow new shoots.

Beauty in pain.
Death, resurrection.

My senses, never to be the same
whisper to me.
We exist as the forest exists, a gift.
We can be. Be and be.
Better? Hopefully.

I pass my hand through the spider-string.
I watch the trapped leaf float free.
I notice the beauty of falling.