On Transformation – a poem by Jokshan Pasamonte

On Transformation

The bird does not know
that God is in its small body,
and when it sings into the clear blue sky,
it does not know that God is also in its song.

The river becomes conscious of itself.
It feels every molecule bend to
the curve of the sloping earth.
It is suddenly aware of its wetness, its translucence.
It knows it cannot flow on its own,
and therefore has concluded that it must
have come from somewhere else.

What if death to the individual is like
the life of a caterpillar? It settles on a leaf
and its body is slowly, over time, covered
in a thick hard shell, and inside the shell
it is being transformed into a being that it
could not possibly conceive of when it was
merely a caterpillar. And soon it emerges,
breaking free of its shell, with colourful wings,
a brand new body, and the ability to fly.
What if death was like that, like a transformation
we could not conceive of while we are living?

I do not know the details of the plan God has
laid out for me. I do not know why I am alive
or what comes next. In truth I am not
certain about many things, but I know I can
see and feel, taste and smell, hear and think and
have dreams of living or dying. I have died the
type of death a stone dies when it becomes sand.
And I have news for you, it isn’t all that bad.

When it is time, take my ashes and
pour them out into the river. Let me go where
I will, let me see the world with brand new eyes.
Then I will say a prayer for you, and one day, maybe,
when you see a dandelion seed floating in the wind,
or the sun at an angle that casts everything in a splendid light,
you’ll have known that I’ve seen you in that very moment,
for everything you are and everything you are not,
and loved you all the same.


Jokshan Pasamonte is a poet residing in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. He writes about the natural world and how it relates to the individual. Some of his themes are philosophical in nature, and he writes primarily in free verse.

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