Monday, December 9, 2019

When Great Trees Fall

When great trees fall,
rocks on distant hills shudder,
lions hunker down
in tall grasses,
and even elephants
lumber after safety.

When great trees fall
in forests,
small things recoil into silence,
their senses
eroded beyond fear.

When great souls die,
the air around us becomes
light, rare, sterile.
We breathe, briefly.
Our eyes, briefly,
see with
a hurtful clarity.
Our memory, suddenly sharpened,
gnaws on kind words
promised walks
never taken.

Great souls die and
our reality, bound to
them, takes leave of us.
Our souls,
dependent upon their
now shrink, wizened.
Our minds, formed
and informed by their
 fall away.
We are not so much maddened
as reduced to the unutterable ignorance
dark, cold

And when great souls die,
after a period peace blooms,
slowly and always
irregularly. Spaces fill
with a kind of
soothing electric vibration.
Our senses, restored, never
to be the same, whisper to us.
They existed. They existed.
We can be. Be and be
better. For they existed.

When Great Trees Fall
--Maya Angelou

James Joseph Kennedy 
February 27, 1999 -- December 11, 2018


Noelle said...

willow trees weep and so do I....when great trees fall. Oh love and my prayers are with all of you....

JS said...

The magnitude of your grief is both painful and enlightening, an agonizing yet beautiful remembrance of a great soul gone too soon. My thoughts are with all who love him.

Joan said...

I had never seen those words by Maya Angelou - how absolutely beautiful and powerful! Accompanied by your sweet pictures of your beloved nephew Jimmy, the words were all the more powerful. It's hard to believe one full year has passed since your great tree fell... and my thoughts and heart go out to your whole family. Yes, he existed.... and I believe that he still exists - just on a different plane that surpasses my true understanding. But yes, his spirit lives on, within you, for sure.
- hugs -