The importance of the integrity and wisdom of elders is a concept often overlooked in our western culture. Indigenous peoples understood and valued their elders and this poem by Ian McFarlane beautifully captures the essence of their intrinsic value. We thank him for sharing his poem with us.


(for the elders)

Speak softly of those early years,

and gently taste the spring;

drawn from a well of healing tears,

on memory’s passing wing.

Transcend the stone convention

by gathering fresh moss,

with words too light to mention

the weight of history’s loss.

The candle flame is slowing;

the eye becomes less keen,

but the sap is bravely flowing

through leaves that yet are green.

For you have told a story

that needs no further proof,

and the rhythm of its glory

beats like rain upon the roof.

Shadows dim the sundial’s face

as clouds press down above,

and the Rubicon is crossed with grace –

on the neap tide of your love.


Ian McFarlane – February, 2010