It Will Be The Leaves

Felix Dennis
January 5, 2014
Mandalay, Mustique
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It will be the leaves,
And the boles and the bark and the domed sky
Grey against winter boughs, bracket-fungi,
Swollen twigs, puffed catkins, buds as various
As a mad artist’s palette — precarious
Nuts and fruit at the utmost top of the tree,
And bracts, and the flowers, of course. But mostly,
It will be the leaves.

And lovers and friends,
Never as many as we’d like to pretend,
But each a beacon of sorts — and in the end
The thing that made life more than marching sore
Across a world where we grew rich (or poor)
And talked and rutted, boasted, stole a kiss,
Fled, led, won or lost. Yes, mostly I’ll miss
Lovers and friends.

And perhaps it will be. But the sad truth is I will never know. As no creature knows, will know or has ever known (at least for those of us lacking belief in the supernatural). I have an old friend who argues, kindly, but strongly, ‘At least it will be peace.’ But this is untrue. Peace is a conditional state requiring comparison with other states to have any meaning. In death, there is no state whatever for what was once a conscious mind. Therefore there can be no comparison — and no peace (or misery, it must be admitted). Poems like the one above, then, are written more to keep one’s spirits up than as a true reflection of a considered or recollected inner truth. Even so — it will be the leaves!