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The Tranquility of Previous Existence

04.23.15 Posted in today's words by

Neil Ellman’s most recent poem to appear here was Flowers in the Wind (March 2015).

The Tranquility of Previous Existence
(after the painting by Walter Quirt)
By Neil Ellman

Merely to have lived
a previous life
whether as a tree
with a thousand rings
or leaf spring-born in green
and fallen in autumn’s red
as a handmaid to a queen
or as her majesty in silk
is to have heard
the rattle-call of death
from birth to the last of days
and then a silence
and relief
but, too, a mother’s voice
like wind through trees
and fingertips on skin–
being what being is
it is better to have been
than not at all.


One Response to “The Tranquility of Previous Existence”

  1. Great piece, Neil. I really like the line being what being is.

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