A poem for the New Year.

My Heart’s Desire

In the darkness
some­thing inside me asks, as it always does,
What is it your heart most desires?
And I will say back, Well, there’s always
some­thing, isn’t there?
A good long walk in the mountains
where the wind mourns in the trees,
or maybe just a frank talk with an angel
about the way things are real­ly going for me.
And as long as I’m ask­ing, how about
a big, quick sword to kill this ego of mine
and then, on the side perhaps
a lit­tle brook in the springtime
delight­ing the child who’s still buried in me.
And then, too, I’d like a cure for every fear I face,
(dit­to every regret, guilt, shame and denial),
so please give me a pair of mag­ic boots
to tread on them as if mere blades of grass
between quo­tid­i­an here and cos­mic there.
Mon­ey and love are also good things to ask for,
can’t get too much of them, though if push
comes down to shove, I’d set­tle for
an end to par­ti­san bick­er­ing and
the restora­tion of a com­mon hope and peace.
Let’s also not for­get food and shel­ter for all,
an end to cru­el­ty toward help­less dogs and cats,
the rec­on­cil­i­a­tion of all par­ents with all children,
and a world where strangers discover
the clasp of kind­ness, for­give­ness and redemption.
And then maybe, final­ly, when I’m tired enough
of the bur­den, I’d like just a simple
accep­tance of time passing,
accep­tance of the heart’s con­stant yearnings,
let­ting go of the way they ache as they crawl
through my dreams and the dark room around me,
so that I can stop this inces­sant ask­ing once and for all
and, tonight any­way, get some rest.

Dan Oestre­ich

Decem­ber 31, 2017


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