CLIFF CREGO | Yellow Stonecrop (Sedum lanceolatum), South Wallowas

Yellow Stonecrop (Sedum lanceolatum), South Wallowas . . .
On the road in the Northwest of America.


At birth, we are all given

a bag of gaming chips,

maybe a hundred or so.

Some are willing to spend

their whole bag simply to climb

a mountain, or write a symphony, or

find a cure to militarism.

Others, like mothers, give their bag wholly

to their children without a second thought.

While still others hoard theirs, pinching

each chip until their last troubled

breath runs out.

This is so, I say to you.

But see those people who might and do

steal others’, steal our chips. Sometimes the

whole bag. Think of that! What shall we call this?

Evil? Greed? Cupidity?

Or perhaps those who steal our chips

are simply somehow lost, like small children

who have been abandoned, forgotten, locked out of the school.

And then we might ask: Is a chip a minute, a second, or

a year? Who can say?

And does some essence of ourselves

in some future re-manifest with

a new bag? Again, who can say definitively?

Evidently, at death’s door, no godlike Janus,

seeing both ways, past and future,

stands watch at the threshold.

That is the beauty of the bag.

All bets are off.

All bets—both the good & the bad—

are all one’s very own.

See the beauty of that.

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All Photographs & texts by Cliff Crego © 2011
(created: XI.19.2008)