The Question

Mortal, we
free-fall in life-aches’
whispered, whys.
Dark matter
attracted, but questioning
the spin, the drop–still

not immortal, but
swallowed stars
coursing through our veins, scattered
light diffused, always

there waiting,
the flame, unknown or
a beacon
within brain, heart, skin–or soul-
dimmed till it’s released.

In a dream,
a blue river shines,
calling me,
and I wake
with the vision remaining.
I send it soaring.

And does it
live on in space-time?
Not human,
not mortal,
but eternally, star-sparked–
circling forever.

Cloud Reflections on the Delaware River at West Deptford, NJ ©️Merril D. Smith 2020

A shadorma sequence for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday, where I chose the theme, “Immortality.” I’m also sharing this with dVerse for Open Link Night, which is live tonight! I really did wake from a dream of a blue river

67 thoughts on “The Question

  1. I love how you begin with; ‘free-fall in life-aches’ whispered, whys.’ It speaks so much about the beauty of the cosmos as well as unpredictability of living on as a mortal, the highs and lows that shape us and reveal our destiny. 💝💝

  2. Merril: “…Not human, not mortal, but eternally, star-sparked–circling forever…” the blue river dream. All of my senses were on fire with your imagery. This has been a great theme, by the way. ❤

  3. I especially love those stars coursing through us, Merril and was blown away by your reading. I didn’t hear you mention that it’s a shadorma sequence (if you did), so I’m extra awed because shadorma’s one of my fave forms…and you do it soo well. YOWZA!

  4. We all want to borrow that dream so beautifully described!! I know mothing of shadorma, and I’m going now to learn!

  5. I am obsessed with the kind of questions you pose here, Merril: I find it fascinating. We can’t be the final word and the limit of everything in the universe! Beautifully versed and read 🙂

    • Thank you so much, Ingrid. I don’t believe in a biblical god, but I think both that our senses are very limited and also that it’s so unlikely that there is not life elsewhere.

  6. I enjoyed your reading last night, Merril, and love the shape of this shadorma sequence, stretching out like space, the alliterative phrase ‘free-fall in life-aches’ whispered, whys’, so delicately puffed and breathed, and the ‘swallowed stars coursing through our veins’.

    • Thank you very much for your lovely comment and close-reading, Kim. Open Link was fun–even though Ricky the Cat pushed my computer screen so you could only see the top part of my face for most of my reading. 😀

  7. Fabulous poetry, Merril. I haven’t had a dream with blue water for a long time. It would be a refreshing change.
    Carbon-based… swallowed stars…right away Joni Mitchel’s song Woodstock snuck in for a visit. Thank you!
    “We are stardust
    Billion year old carbon
    We are golden
    Caught in the devil’s bargain
    And we’ve got to get ourselves
    Back to the garden”

  8. Pingback: #TANKA TUESDAY POETRY CHALLENGE STARS | Theme prompt: Immortality – Word Craft ~ Prose & Poetry

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