Thursday, 4 December 2014

Riki's Prayer

Image : Riki Roy

The prompt

"Can you write me a poem too or a prayer whichever you like...where my ashes be strewn in the Rockies near I am in love with the place...and may I be born in Canada to snowboard in Jasper's amazing slopes...where my hubby is my instructor and I fall in love with him again in a new time and place and we marry amongst the singing slopes and enchanting lakes..."

The poem


Snowmelt’s going to be washed to the oceans
someday anyway, so give my ashes to
a fresh snowfall laid at the feet of mountains,
give them to the arms of pinewoods,  the immense
worlds tucked in a print of a caribou.

Give them, my love, to the vast stillness, the flakes
dancing to the leaps and whims of snowstorms,
trembling on the ribbed ripples of tranquil lakes
and when the universe finally remakes
them, may they again take a woman’s form.

May I be reborn around these mountains, close
to these spring-touched fields, these winter-bright slopes;
and one day quite by chance walking these snows
may we meet again where the conifer grows
as stars pin clouds in place with their sapphire drops.

May I be born here on the ridge of a mountain,
come face to face with you, and fall in love again.


Let me be grateful for each scar, each success,
every step taken with you by my side;
and every step taken alone in some dim recess
of memory, but special nevertheless
because each led here, where our paths coincide.

Let me be grateful for wonder and its huge breadth,
the depth of my passion, the lightness of mischief;
the bonds between us that persist beyond death
and the ken of humans, beyond narrow faiths
and streams speckled with leaf-shadows of grief.

And grateful for each grain of sand and grit,
the barefoot mornings, carefree and wriggly-toed
coming in with summers swinging at their hips.
For the jewelled ice on winter nights’ fingertips,
for pristine snows on hard shoulders of the road.

Grateful that you test the knots, ease every climb
just by going ahead or backing me up all the time.


Praying that when I’m remade in some future birth
I walk along this same majestic icefield;
or wavy tracks on a slope where snow’s disturbed,
a red helmet moves against the sky and earth
in graceful loops; and again, my fate is sealed.

It’s déjà vu, “I know you! from someplace else,”
you’re nonplussed but too polite to contradict.
Far below, the green lake ripples, the snowmelts
chuckle gently, trickle soft in their channels.
You’re visibly relieved as I change the topic,

“I’d like to learn snowboarding, give me a try?”
and you unstrap and step off, ever courteous.
I’m shaky as I mount, and your palm’s a sigh.
Thunderstruck at this touch, your smile’s awry -
you finally make the connect between us.

“Notice the helmet’s still red, what does that prove?”
the board steadies underfoot as I start to move. 

For my dear friend Riki Roy, with thanks and much love and friendship. May she be guided to her love and happiness unerringly, in every life that is granted her, and may they both be equally inspirational partners in all of them, as they are now. 

This one is strictly 'write as it comes' - no editing, no over-thinking, posted as soon as written, from the heart to brain to blog in half a morning's work over three consecutive days.  I hope I have been able to do justice to the prompt, Rik.

1 comment:

  1. HI Nila - that's very personal for Riki ... and so descriptive of those magnificent landscapes of the Jasper Rockies ... A lovely prayer. With thoughts Hilary