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May Reflection 2019 – And Still I Rise

Dear Friends,

Easter is a time when we celebrate the resurrection of Christ and all our experiences of new life in the natural world and within ourselves on this journey of life.

I love the poem by Maya Angelou, And Still I Rise. I quote the final stanza of the poem:

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear

I rise

Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear

I rise

Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,

I am the dream and the hope of the slave.

I rise

I rise

I rise


The challenges that Maya Angelou faced as a woman, and a black woman growing up in the United States of America were enormous. She rose from poverty, violence and racism to become a renowned writer, and poet and civil right’s activist. One feels that in her there is a whole rising up of generations of women and men freed from the shackles of the past to live their lives in a new way.

I have been part of a family and, a group of family and friends who experienced the loss of a young man to cancer, and are on a journey of bereavement together. A few days ago we gathered in a chapel on the 6 month anniversary of his death to reflect on our journey thus far. We told our stories and friends shared poems, their written reflections and encouragements. My poem follows.

I hope it will give you some insight to this young man, of his story, our experience, and that it will quietly inspire you.

The Moon is another Light

For Christian Rohrer 1999 – 2018

The sun’s softening light

dissolves into the ocean vast

the full moon rises in the blue

Hers is another light

what she receives, she gives

Lights up the pale paths

in the dank forest

where the owls are on the hunt

and we must find the way

In ghostly light across the broken rivers

There were the waxing days

when he full of promise and light –

the light of body and intellect –

the piston-breath to the finish line,

the swerve and swirl of stick and ball

and a mind built on teams of discovery

the playful brownness of his eyes, cascade of curls,

the Adonis of his friends

and first among his peers

In the third quarter of the moon

before our eyes,

the waning crescent of his body

we gathered around him

each week loaded with our fears

wanting a miracle that would not come

but he took us by the hand

and led us to the heart of the moon

The sister who screened him

saw his aura of light

the family trip and darkening snow storm

in the mountains of Ceres

the moving world and we

with him outside of time

in love’s present

What a fountain in his giving,

for we found ourselves

our gentle humanity

in those final days

on the light side of the new moon

Bob Commin 2019

4 comments on “And Still I Rise 2019

  1. Steve says:

    Thanks for that, Bob.


  2. Alison Bodenstein says:

    Bob that is so so beautiful. Thank you.


  3. Leon Glanvill says:

    Dear Bob: I just read the poem you wrote about Christian. It is amazing. The Field and Stream Society are going to be building a wooden deck in the depths of a game reserve we use. We have permission to name it Rohrer’s Rest. I would like to quote a line or two for the plaque will will put up once the deck is built.



    1. bcommin says:

      Dear Leon, Thank you for your comments. I shall be very happy for you to use part of the poem in that way.
      Kind regards


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