graying of temples

its the disappearing
graying of temples
and long standing walls
leaning now on their memories

how quickly they leave
disappearing in
neglect, left to collect dust
on old photographs and letters

they were here once
busy like you, late to work
and laughing, making love
and meals, raising their voices
and children, living

ah, there’s the rub
the dead are left to their own devices
playing bridge and counting clouds
leaving the living to go around
in their immortal mortality
while the ashes cool
and death never takes a holiday

rest

the journey has been overwhelming
the road long and arduous
with pitfalls
and wrong turns taken
only to double back
to crossroads and bad directions

maps scribbled quickly
on the back of my hand
and instructions
both kindly given and some
not so much

straight and narrow paths
stumbling blocks and rocky roads
have led me here
right now
to a place
if not smooth
at least well paved with good intentions

I will release this burden
kick off these dusty boots
and rest here for a while