The Dance of Ash

Around a blazing fire
So spouting warmth and cheer,
With sparks to be admired
By all who gather near,
I am not often thinking of death.

And yet it too is there
Beneath the flame’s great might
The flecks of ash in air
Are dancing in the light
To live and die thus intertwined.

To me the two are not aligned
As I around the fire glow sit
My eyes have merrily gone blind
And life with fingers white I grip.

Despite this fact I sit and stare
Inside the flames and at the ash
That’s ground beneath, and then I dare
To contemplate my death, to pass
My own importance over
For a glimpse of nothingness

Ashes to ashes
(a thought replete with dashes)

And yet a voice has said to me
That here is where I’ll find the road
That leads to life that seeks the deep
And struggles not beneath its load

Die to self, it said

Instead I listen to the sounds
That counsel unto maximized
Enjoyments that on earth abound
Until death comes with due surprise

And from these ashes, what arise?

Die to self, the voice had said
And ash was sprinkled over all
The failings from dark places tread
And places of repeated fall.

The self then overflowed instead

With love that only comes about
When death is seen square in the eye
No more despair or pallid doubt,
For in the turning truth is nigh

And life springs from the strength to die

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