I’ve watched the oceans ebb and flow
And greet the sand without my leave
I’ve watched the stormwinds tease me so
And reveal the air in cardless sleeves

I’ve waited for the green to fall
And laugh my grasp into a miss
Until they become not leaves at all
But symbols of me, powerless.


15 thoughts on “Powerless

  1. Expressed with your usual artistry and sensitivity, Rachel. Communicates a loss doubled with the current physical environment.

    Continuing the metaphor, though, doesn’t a season of rebirth and exuberance follow eventually?

    Yeah, so what? So does winter again, after that.

    True. It proves nothing’s permanent except change. Moreover, we hardly are circumstance’s hapless toys. When the cold comes, we compensate and we endure. We put on a scarf. We warm ourselves by the fire. We take down from the shelf another blanket. We drink not cocoa. Sometimes, even, we jet off to somewhere tropical.

    It’s cold, that’s undeniable. Doesn’t mean we have to be, though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Excellently put, Keith! It’s true, we’re not incapable of adaptation. Though adaptation typically requires some degree of acceptance, and that can be a difficult thing to acquire. We all want control, after all — even in our youth, so much time is spent in longing for it. To accept that so much of the world is beyond our control is… painful.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wow, that’s really an effective observation, Rachel! Sure, adaptability is our species’ trademark. Acceptance, however, isn’t so natural.

        Partly because it counters the idealism which inspires us all. Everyone strives to improve things, however they define “better.” Accepting less-than-ideal grates our restless souls.

        Another awesome recognition, Rachel, coupling youth and control. That’s natural, too, as the young have everything before them. Everything is potential, pushing resignation off the map.

        No answer for that one, pat or otherwise. Each of us is just one among billions – what difference can any of us make? Not much…absent determination. That’s a uniquely human characteristic which has, at times, changed the world.

        Think about it. At some point, there appear idealistic wasps, trout, or antelope, yet not one of them has changed what it means to be a…fill-in-the-blank. Only humans have that potential. Savor it!


  2. This made me visualize a kid standing under a tree, trying to catch a leaf that detaches from the branches. The leaf dances in the air, slowly making its way down to the ground, where an outstretched hand awaits. Does the kid account for wind current? For the weight of the leaf? Often enough, the leaf falls somewhere unexpected. So with that said, I think the leaf is not all that powerless. It ‘steers’ its way like a pilot of a plane.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Precisely my picture. But, there is a question of who is powerless. Now, my punctuation is a bit haphazard, but as I see it, my enjoyment of ambiguously placed commas (as well as my current abstinence from end-line punctuation) means that it could be read two ways. Either that the leaves are symbolically powerless — or that they and their escape are symbols of the kid’s powerlessness. Perhaps the leaf can guide its descent… And perhaps the kid need only account for all the factors. Regardless, are not both still powerless, in a sense? The leaf doesn’t glide on its own: It bends to the wind, and falls to its knees before gravity. The kid, for all his desire, and all his application, is still bound by mother nature’s whims. They are both governed by a greater power than their own; one that they can possibly account for, but have no direct power over.

      Liked by 1 person

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