FRESH OFF THE PAGE: To catch the light

to catch the light

to catch the light

between bright leaves
of my crooked maple tree,
turning green to gold,
light is catching fire,
where the brighter eye
of a stark sun shines through,
silvered by passing clouds.

drawn in by the delicacy
and quickness of light,
how it struggles to stay,
then so gently fades,
touching the clouds, leaves,
and ground below,
I bear witness to its passing.

but what I truly long for
is to catch the light,
hold it fast here in my hand,
write it all down,
trap its rays in a jar of words,
like fireflies glowing
after a long day’s end.

yet the harder I try to hold on,
grasping at the warmth,
happy in its gaze,
the faster it slips away–
sudden and silent,
fading into shadows,
slipping behind the clouds.

still, I see real beauty lies
so often in the loss,
its impermanence of presence,
inescapable, insurmountable,
beautiful and brief,
like our own lives–
such light never can stay.

there is only that instant
when it returns
and I know such warmth again,
feeling all the joy
fill me full anew,
that comes after its absence,
when understanding dawns.

so living in a moment
underneath its glorious regard,
is the only way–
learning not to fear its loss,
demand its cooperation
or concession,
or beg it politely to remain.

if the clouds and leaves
can brush by then pass on,
embracing it all fully and well,
then I must learn to also–
to be alive and glowing,
if only for a moment,
then simply let it go.

Listen to this poem read aloud here: