I live in the aspen-growth mountains

Where souls choose to have their ashes strewn

Before they’re freed to God knows where.

Are there spirits in this air?

The remains of bones and flesh, for certain,

In this earth.


Once, I watched a man I knew pour

The ashes of his wife from a small plane

Onto a tree-covered mountainside near their home.

I thought of the Lockerbie airplane detonation

After which so many bones prematurely fell to earth.

Gravity brought the remains home–

The flesh and blood, with no rhyme or reason.


I’m now resting outdoors in a deck chair,

Drinking a good rye beer, exotic to my taste buds.

A light rain sprinkles down, like holy water,

On my hands and paper

As I muse on bones, ashes and lost spirits.


Once, long ago, in my wayward youth,

I ate some magic mushrooms with friends.

I gazed, open-eyed, at trees that

Seemed alive and conversant.

“It’s all the same,” I remember clearly;

They told me.

Wisdom of trees.


 S.A. Bort / 26 August 2014