ewig…..

ask Mother Nature:
What is justice? — she replies
simply a story,
one of the most beautiful
— it has no ending at all

This poem is based on a dream last night in which I was feeling very amorous towards the pianist Elisabeth Leonskaja (mentioned in a previous post here). She is ten years older than me and I was more or less aware, in the dream, of her true age of 70. There was music in the dream as well, which she had composed. The age gap set me thinking, awake, about the phrase intergenerational justice. I’m not really sure what it means, and I guess it depends on the context. I’m thinking much more broadly than legal justice. Maybe I could have called my poem karma. But the consequences of our actions do go on forever, justice is never finished. And ewig…. is meant to evoke the final bars of Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde. Writing this poem feels as though it has brought me a step closer to understand what Mahler was driving at. I was thinking recently about the curious reluctance of my 88-year-old mother to plan her own funeral service. It occurred to me if she doesn’t choose any music I might choose something from Das Lied von der Erde, knowing how much she loved it.

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