Time to Live

Smoke rises from a chimney
into the cold December sky.
Desire wants to lift above the earth,
see far like towering evergreens
but the land calls down and in.
Discover again your winter self
wrapped in elk hide,
stone faced and sober.
Stir the cauldron,
sing the ancient songs,
let the drumbeat
of mother’s heart
guide you in knowing
wild horse and flowing river.
You’ve died a thousand times;
now it’s time to live.




photograph by Patrick Orleman





















Reading of “Time to Live” with music by Van Morrison


11 Responses to “Time to Live”

  1. James Frid says:

    Thanks, Don. It is kinship with the Earth and love for the Creator of All That Is, that brings calm and confidence in the ancient process that is ours to partake.

  2. You settled my grieving heart with this one, Brother. Deep Gratitude.

  3. Maria Frid says:

    How good to acknowledge, once and for all, that, “Desire wants to lift above the earth,see far like towering evergreens” is not for me to see. I love the ancient song of the earth, gift given to us to care for, live,and love. Thank you Don…………..most beautiful!

  4. Sandy Jensen says:

    The controlled back and forth rhythm of the lines was like watching a gymnast on the balance beam, with a final expert tumble in the air as you stuck your landing. Watching that action is the joy of the poem for me. 🙂

  5. David Banner says:

    whew, Don…brilliant!

  6. Tom Figel says:

    Don, your smart poem elicited smart comments from your readers. Time to live, yes, it is. Thanks.

  7. Elizabeth O Nunn says:

    Currently, I live in a drought stricken area, no evergreens, almost no access to water, and in isolation by choice. Scenery is rocks.
    I’m not here just to live but to be the focus of LIFE in this tiny, somewhat dreary area. The Earth says “YES!” The Mother and I are one and we are looking forward to what wonders we will bring.

  8. Eric Dunn says:



    Yes, in that sense the living gets better with every death, the blade stronger with every tempered fold… …Some paintings, music, poetry open a ‘space’ in consciousness for those with hearts to see, hear, feel – to enter’.

  10. Breiling says:


    The poem is very fitting. I just retired on Dec. 31 and I will turn 78 on Monday
    I think of you often and hope you are well. Someday we can all have a meal together to celebrate our lives.

    Mary Breiling

  11. David Barnes says:

    “now it’s time to live” — plainspoken, timeless and perfect for now. thank you Don

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