this wild rumpus of life


when the dead are invited back
on Halloween and All Souls Day,
Dia de los Muertos and Dia de los ñatitas,
during Bon Festival and Qingming Festival,
Araw ng mga Patáy and Gai Jatra Chuseok
on these days, in the many places
on the crest of our mingling with spirits
at burial sites and among dappled silver-gray stones
and the blue and emerald of sky and sea,
around the bend of alabaster bays
and the rough-barked redwoods and stripy eucalyptus
in the damp green of the moss
in the pungent cempasúchitl or pale bamboo shoots
and the raucous discontent of crows and sea gulls calling,
among bales of cotton clouds and symphonies of rain
among the hot tears and cool baptisms by salt water
between the viridescent living and the
remains of the dead, the compost underfoot,
in the wind wailing past the bowing cypress
in these landscapes and littoral zones
our ancestors visit in cellular memory, our blood
sings their songs and they hound us; hounding,
not into death but into life, into blessing
into peace, celebration and joy ~
one life to live or many, what do you give?
what do you leave behind, what will you have
to say when, for just one moment, your spirit is
called to share again this wild rumpus of life

© 2015, poem, Jamie Dedes (The Poet by Day & Coffee, Tea and Poetry), All rights reserved; illustration, photo of Diego Rivera's mural in Mexico city, Sueño de una Tarde Dominical en la Alameda Central. A "selfie" of sorts, you can see Rivera to your left as the child and the woman behind him is Frieda Kahlo.  The photo is courtesy of Humberto under CC BY-SA 2.0 license.  

Categories: poem

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