“Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”
                            —Mark 4.38

But we are perishing.
That night on the lake they lived,
and later, as always, perished.

A living being perishes and falls
past death, and so past the fear of death,
to the peace of the forest floor,
where sunlight comes only a handful at a time,
the kingdom of the salamanders.
Worms and bugs and fungi reach up to the dead
and draw them down into the realm of life.
The teeth of transformation,
the gut of resurrection, have their way.
The choir of rakers and suckers and chewers
receive the offering, and the song of renewal goes on.

The memories you hold and those
you have created for others, all you have done,
fall to the sea bottom where the priests of transfiguration
take and bless and break the host
and distribute it to the congregation of the living.
We are not given to know
the memories of the perished that we bear,
but we bear them.

Stars know this, and rivers, and saints, and mushrooms:
that all is surrendered,
and all is gathered in beauty.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light
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