Rilke, Easter, and Impermanence

Rilke, Easter, and Impermanence

Is not impermanence the very fragrance of our days?
+ Rainer Maria Rilke

Impermanence and change
is in the very air we breathe - can you smell it?
It’s the smell of Easter lilies after Good Friday:
Death doesn’t last!
It’s the smell of grape hyacinths
after the winter is gone, barrenness
and cold have no dominion

It’s the smell of sweat on those
who march for freedom, it’s the breath
of those who shout out loud that Black Lives Matter -
can you smell it? the impermanence of injustice?

The leader shouts, “What do we want?” Justice!  
“When do we want it?”  Now!   Why do you look
for the living among the dead when impermanence
is the fragrance of everything under heaven?

Can’t you smell this spring-bringing breath of God?
It’s in the very air we breathe - every winter gives way in the end.
The grass withers, the flower fades, but the breath of God,
the Word of God, the Love of God, the Joy of God,

the Whole Life and Resurrection of God
will stand forever

+ Elizabeth Myer Boulton