Doggerel for Ash Wednesday
by Paul Hooker
Dust and ashes, dust and ashes
gleaned from hearth and window sashes,
cross their pathways on my brow.
I am dust and ashes now.
Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.
Remind me of it if you must:
that I will lose this mortal frame,
lose my grip on place and name.
You are dust, to dust return.
The dead are so taciturn.
Whence we come is where we go:
at last that’s all we have to show.
Shake off the dust, wipe off the ash;
take out your pride with last night’s trash.
The dawning day will start anew
the circle of the false and true.
Dust and ashes, ash and dust;
all that’s left is moth and rust
and what the thieves have left behind.
We have to lose before we find.
paul, i love the playful nature of this poem. while loaded with meaning both mortal and theological, it contains the echoes of childhood’s rhymes, and i feel i’m skipping rope with death.
I love the weaving together of the Biblical and liturgical texts for Ash Wednesday.