A Thousand Souls

Dec 11, 2019 | Poem


A thousand souls went rushing by in a swirling wind today.

They came from the west then stopped to rest in the cedars, along the bay.

I was sitting in the shade where the heat of the day was lightened by the lacy green boughs,

When this cool crowd swirled in, took the bower for a spin, then flew on their soulful way.


It was just a gust of wind that passed – it’s nothing – my sister said.

But she’s young and naïve with no way to conceive of the paths that are trod by the dead.

I wasn’t afraid of this gauzy parade that wrapped the pine trees white.

It’s a natural space and a natural place for those who walk with the night.


I’ve been there at the end – the moment of death – when the spirit rises and flees.

A conscious act, with no regret, as the essence of life takes its leave.

You feel it move soft and dark and light as the air you breathe,

It hovers and waits for a long as it takes to become what it always has been.


A part of the greatness, the bigness of life, floating through time and space

Untethered and free it meets up with the band and mingles and dances with grace.

A thousand souls collected together, embracing the freedom they share.

We’re left in their wake, until the last step we take allows us to join them there.


A thousand souls went rushing by in a swirling wind today.

They were here – then gone – pushed the clouds – then were gone.

How cool – that’s all I can say.



A Poem by Susan McElroy
Written upon noticing a strong, sudden gust of wind on a still summer’s day. A singular gust, unexpected and not repeated. Georgian Bay – Summer 2018