Ash Wednesday

I hope to turn again one day –
turn from dark death thoughts to life,
to rise from the fire into lightness,
floating like the ashes that rise above
the flames and escape to the sky.

I hope to return to this time
lent us, because I hope the garden
will return from under snow, because hope
is dusted upon the slender one standing
in the distance, haloed by the sun.

 

palms to ash

This double Ronka poem owes something to T.S. Eliot’s poem, “Ash-Wednesday”, which begins:

Because I do not hope to turn again
Because I do not hope
Because I do not hope to turn

listen to T.S. Eliot reading the poem

The Blank Page

Just enough snow to make us believe
that today is a blank page and
on these faint lines, we can write
a short story with a happy ending
or a heroic couplet ending a poem.

 

The window screen divides the scene
into thousands of pixels, and each one
will need to be filled, black or white,
on or off, here or not here.
A crossword puzzle we can never complete.

Vaccine

Latin vaccinus, from vacca “cow” because of

early use of cowpox virus against smallpox.

I remember the massive Sabin oral vaccine

for polio first developed by Jonas Salk.

Vaccines stimulate the production of antibodies

provide immunity against one or several diseases

using disease to treat without inducing disease.

“Our greatest responsibility,” said Dr. Salk Vaccine,

“is to be good ancestors.” We too

use our life to inoculate against life.

A 1963 poster featured CDC’s national symbol of public health, the “Wellbee”, who was encouraging the public to receive an Sabin Type-II oral polio vaccine in campaigns across the United States. (via Wikimedia)