By Daniel Eichner

Sometimes I wonder if lives
Are individual threads on a 12-string guitar
(Maybe actually an instrument vast
In its complexity, making a 12-string guitar
Seem like a child’s toy?)
With one soul transmigrating across strands,
Incarnating in each in turn,
Creating metempsychotic melodies to ring down the ages

So that when a single person
Connects with another, perhaps
There is a ‘membrance of meetings past
And when a single person
Connects with a place, perhaps
There is a shadow cast by former lives

How else to explain the
Yearning that wrenches a
Heaving heart when passing
A life or land or person that cannot
Be theirs?
Every glimpse a wistful pain, an
Awareness of what could not
Be, but should.

Thus does a distant mountain,
Covered in wild grasses blowing
In frosted breeze,
Pull at your soul when, glimpsing it
Far on the horizon, you wish you could
Live atop it, and partake in the
Joyful music, the sculpting of
Evanescent ideas,
The authenticity of
A life lived well.

But there are other things
To do.  Too many
In the mayfly’s wing that
Is a single life.  There are others
Who need you.

And all you can do is hope beyond
That you will live other lives
On that mountain or
Sailing that endless ocean or
Being with that person or
Living nobly for that cause.

But every now and then, a whispered
Echo of a song from that mountain reaches
You, and your heart,
Knowing only one life,
Breaks a little.