this wild rumpus of life

The_Kid_-_Diego_Riverawhen 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 underfoot
in the wind through the bowing cypress
in these littoral zones and landscapes
our ancestors visit in cellular memory, our blood sings
their songs and they hound us; hounding, 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 a moment, your spirit is
called to share again in this wild rumpus of life

” When we come into this life, we don’t really own anything.  And we own nothing when we leave.  It is only a lease we have during our lifetime ~ and it is up to us to make the most of it.  Before you leave this life, you want to be able to say, ‘I was given a certain talent ~ and I used it all.'” Jerold Panas, nonfiction writer and fundraising consultant to nonprofits

Wishing you every blessing on All Souls Day.

© 2015, poem, Jamie Dedes, 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.