I confess my faith to the bones
that lie passively among mountains.
These bones that once
propped up a body that once
propped up a soul, a
figure howling in the night.
I stand before my own bones mixed
among these; I lie down and wait.
Will my figure howl hard
and far for the prop?
Will I become the wind, a
ghost among bones?
The mountains are tall and hide their heads.
It is the mountains who lie among the dead.
And are these mountains
the bones of god?
And how they howl, a
whimper among wails!
The spirits give me my penance, the spirits
of the mountains, bones, the whispering spirits:
"We are the dead, with long arms,
with a terrible grasp, we
are the fate of faith, a
hole in the night."
The wind stirs the dirt and snow, and it's cold.
The bones shift. I grow useless, I grow old.
And I confess my faith
to the bones that lie
passively among mountains
that I shall turn just once more.
Teach us to care and not to care.
Teach us to sit still.
--"Ash Wednesday" T. S. Eliot