Wednesday, August 8, 2012

For Death by John O'Donohue

August storm brewing in the swamps

For Death
By John O'Donohue

From the moment you were born,
your death has walked beside you.
Though it seldom shows its face,
you still feel its empty touch
when fear invades your life,
or what you love is lost
or inner damage is incurred...

Yet when destiny draws you
into these spaces of poverty,
and your heart stays generous
until some door opens into the light,
you are quietly befriending your death;
so that you will have no need to fear
when your time comes to turn and leave,

that the silent presence of your death
would call your life to attention,
wake you up to how scarce your time is
and to the urgency to become free
and equal to the call of your destiny.

That you would gather yourself
and decide carefully
how you now can live

the life you would love
to look back on
from your deathbed.


August in Louisiana burns everything up, rain or no rain. The flowers and gardens wither, the butterflies leave and the hummingbirds come by the dozens.  Dragonflies loiter carelessly on the edge of hot bird baths.  The crickets hum a slow, back-to-school song and the frogs sing along, predicting rain. 

And oh, the clouds, the afternoon storms and the knowledge that autumn is around the corner.  How I long for the dying of autumn and the death of winter!   August is about waiting for September.  It will come.  It always does. 


"All say, "How hard it is that we have to die" - a strange complaint to come from the mouths of people who have had to live." ~Mark Twain

"When you cease to fear your solitude, a new creativity awakens in you. Your forgotten or neglected wealth begins to reveal itself. You come home to yourself and learn to rest within. Thoughts are our inner senses. Infused with silence and solitude, they bring out the mystery of inner landscape."  - Anam Cara, by John O'Donohue, p. 17


Anonymous said...

Ahhhh, yes, the fall and winter. I love them. I reprieve from the oven. There is no death, so I have always been free to live.

Ben Ditty said...

Yay, you're back :-)

With a great post too!

Serena said...

Love the poem choice; really provides food for thought.

I'm looking forward to autumn, too. This summer has been so miserably hot and dry. Of course, for all I know fall might stay hot, too, with another unseasonably warm winter.

Kelly said...

I spent the past week at UMCOR Sager Brown in Baldwin, where it was actually a wee bit cooler than home. Did you see/feel me wave at you as we drove past on Sunday and Friday?? :)

One Woman's Journey - a journal being written from Woodhaven - her cottage in the woods. said...

Some of my favorite poesm
are from John O'Donohue...
Thank you for visiting me.

erin said...

hallelujah and pass the wine:))) what would we be without parameters? death is our secret love. sometimes we keep it a secret even from ourselves. (i've been carrying these words for the last week wondering if they will birth a poem.)

two minutes ago i had to get up and put on a sweater. two days ago running in the park there were red maple leaves overhead, orange and brown ones littering the ground. i am in love with these cycles))))i love this life and so i must love death too.



Snowbrush said...

Gosh, Marion, you make me miss Mississippi with what you wrote. It's a very different world down there and it certainly has its charms.