LEAF BY LEAF
– A New Year’s Poem
There are moments
it might seem inconquerable.
The new year looming large
Perhaps we are to take it
leaf by leaf,
like the trees,
who only stand there,
robing and disrobing,
allowing the seasons to dictate.
And one task today,
might be to practice considering
all the things to be done:
The jobs and responsibilities,
and the dreams even,
the ideas, half formed.
And to hold these up to the light.
See which ones crystallise,
take on a gold rimmed edge,
with a tender potential,
and which request the dignity
of our attention.
And see which ones fade out,
become in the vision
a little brittle around their periphery,
it may not yet be their time,
like the last of the season’s leaves
left upon the Pin Oak,
are upon the brink of falling.
We might try this and become
that we are no longer a people
slipping from our grasp –
we, with our concrete feet.
Instead we are living like Rainer Rilke endorsed –
letting everything happen to us,
And deciding, perhaps,
to which we will adhere ourselves.
Or trusting, that we might flare up
in the creative act of imagining,
that everything not ours subsides,
settles by the wayside,
Ana Lisa de Jong
New Years Eve
‘God speaks to each of us as he makes us,
then walks with us silently out of the night.
These are the words we dimly hear:
You, sent out beyond your recall,
go to the limits of your longing.
Flare up like a flame
and make big shadows I can move in.
Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
Just keep going. No feeling is final.
Don’t let yourself lose me.
Nearby is the country they call life.
You will know it by its seriousness.
Give me your hand.’
Rainer Maria Rilke – The Book of Hours