Like a Rock

Old and slow
like a rock
for my family
or fracture
on the broken scree
of a sliding slope,
I lay down aching
and wake with a groan
as I hold my gut
and let voice drain
the painful feeling.
I always wanted
to mean more to them;
perhaps this is how,
by knowing the earth
of my own body,
aged and faltering
on the slow descent.
What is difficult for me
looks solid to them,
dependable, trustworthy;
I need to remember this
as I struggle to the bathroom
fending off appointments.
I’m not what I think
or feel for that matter
but the carving I’ve become,
willing to be like the ancient whale
covered in debris,
rusted iron and fissured skin
crusted with barnacles,
lumbering through blue green depth
to become the ocean’s memory.






18 Responses to “Like a Rock”

  1. David Banner says:

    Yes…it is true…we are aging and barnacles are forming and there is a dignity in that………well spoken, my friend…..

  2. Pichai says:

    whew!…oui!…..I know something similar, each “episode” feels like it could be my last breath, but life has a way to keep on keeping on, in service to the One….to the very last breath…..the very last one—passion for that never wavering. It is the warrior’s way.

  3. Katherine O,,,Neill says:

    Oh Don do I resonate with your words in this one. I am”the carving I”ve become willing to be like the ancient whale…” It is the letting go needed at this time of my life and your words encourage me and I appreciate the peace that is coming with acceptance. Thank you as well I thank the 2 comments here before mine.. Kay

  4. maria says:

    Love the honesty.

  5. This makes me think of Michelangelo’s “slaves”, being freed from the stone, but by some kind of mystic Humpback resonance, truly death-defying, man…

  6. Nancy Rose says:

    I am moved by these lines, too–

    the carving I’ve become,
    willing to be like the ancient whale
    covered in debris,
    rusted iron and fissured skin
    crusted with barnacles

    Even in the midst of your vulnerability, this time of ache and slowness, you have strength…

    Love to you.

  7. Marco says:

    yes … I’m with Maria, touched by the honest disclosure, and I will let these words work inside a while … “What is difficult for me
    looks solid to them … “

  8. John Albright says:

    Somewhere deep inside is an indomitable strength. I no longer
    question what drives me to connect with that core. It is who I am.
    I am a rock for all in my sphere and I love it!

  9. Jamail says:

    I know how you feel as age 75 is here. I spent the last 72 hrs in the Trauma center at OHSU caring for my friend when fell down a flight of stairs. the bones ache, but we muster ourselves and go forward because that is what we are made of,. No other way is possible for life flows forward and others are bleesed and come home.

  10. Jim Ehmke says:

    Thanks Don. A great reminder that “I am”…..not a body. That who “I am” does not become a memory of the ocean or the earth when “I am” leaves the world of form behind and continues on its journey Home — the formless Mind it was created to be and will be forever.

  11. Kim says:

    I love rock, “old and slow”, carved or not, it is the ‘bedrock’ we can be know for. I resonate with your solidness and pain and keep your journey close to my heart.

  12. donnarheath says:

    So very moving, the acceptance of life that shapes us through loss and pain and love to return full circle home. Holding you in my heart.

  13. Andrew Shier says:

    Dear Don – your kingdom is not of this world. Your poetry is not of this world. I love to be with you there, brother. From here, the body is blessed and healed, whatever that my look like. Your radiance is so strong, my friend.

  14. Bob Weaver says:

    Don, You are my mentor. You carefully, gently adjust and broaden the realm of my philosophy. I am grateful! “Go not far from him, oh God, in the time of age. Forsake him not, forsake him not when his strength fails him.”

  15. Eilish says:

    This brings tears to my eyes, for no matter the vulnerable state of your body, your wisdom and spirit is the rock that I tie to when the kyte of myself is being blown too dangerously by the fury of life’s commanding winds. Thank you for showing me that a rock can be both solid and malleable, capable of change.

  16. There’s poetry in the pain, for whatever that’s worth!

  17. Francine Elena Ladd says:

    Love that depth of character you exude in all you do…like a rock! Sending love and hoping all is well on the healing track?!!!

  18. Tom Wishing says:

    As we move into this phase of our lives, health issues do tend to draw friends closer together and maybe that’s what friends are for. Love the poem and look forward to seeing you this summer.

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