For today’s quote, I wrote a Tanka Sequence or Tanka String as it is called (a group of Tankas related to each other. A Tanka for those who are not aware is Japanese poetry written in sentences following the 5-7-5-7-7 syllables pattern.
Today’s quote is:
[…] “The ashes of the dead … will become the plants that are reborn in the spring.” […] (Source: The Fifth Mountain by Paulo Coelho)
The story is based on the account of Elijah from the Hebrew Bible (1 Kings chapters 17-19). The focus is on Elijah’s time in Zarephath (in this book named Akbar). Much has been added to the simple Bible story by Coelho, including Elijah witnessing the sacking of Akbar by the Assyrians, Elijah’s journey up the Fifth Mountain itself (said to be the dwelling place of Baal), and Elijah’s falling in love with the widow to whom God sent him.
For a considerable portion of the story Elijah is very compliant, obeying everything God’s angels say. Eventually he realizes that his destiny is not being chosen by him but by God and ultimately he decides to abide by his own desires and will.
The below Tanka Sequence is dedicated to my mother who passed away on Jan 1st 2006.
‘Twas New Year’s day…
When Thee hath returned to dust,
We held ‘t closely,
All that now hath left of Thee,
Thou dust and thou memories…
A gust of wind blew,
Took some of Thou dust with it,
Unrestrained, ‘t moved,
Dropping some along the way,
Some here, some there ; Sprinkle!
Where Thou dust did fall,
I know without any doubt-
That’s where the flowers,
Grow; the yellow cheery ones,
Stand tall, swaying in the wind…
For Thee lov’d yellow…
At times… I get confused though,
By the red roses,
Their soft petals fluttering,
For I know Thou loved those too.
I know Thee art here,
‘Coz I see Thee in the flowers…
I hear thy sweet voice,
In the chirping of the birds…
And I feel Thee in the breeze.
Note: While I did add a touch of Shakespeare, I couldn’t change the words completely because of the limitations of the syllable counter. I might try writing this again some day in pure Shakespearean English.
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