A Poem: Ashes

Everything is made from ashes.

Just as the skin sheds continuously,
or trees divest themselves of leaves,

or the shells are broken down
to countless smithereens,

so everything that breaks,
falls, sheds,

is reduced back to dust
to sand, to ash.

To the stuff of which the earth
is made.

Resurrection is revealed best
in the Spring tree in blossom,

new life emerging
out of old.

But the shoreline upon which we sit
and feel the sand

and watch the memory of the stars
burning,

recalls to us how,
everything upon which we stand and walk

and have built our lives upon,
is vested from a life surrendered up.

Yes, everything emerges out of ashes,
not just the phoenix from the fire.

Last year’s broken voice becomes
this year’s clearer song.

And tears that seem to fall
fruitlessly and unobserved,

they are like the rain upon the soil,
causing the seeds to sprout in the earth.

And everything we’ve given up
or has broken in our hands,

is not a loss so much as it is
a building block.

The substance of earth and sand.

Ana Lisa de Jong
Living Tree Poetry
August 2019


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