Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Postscript to a Memory

My idea of life after death has nothing whatever to do with religion, so I have no worries about some God kicking me out of any Heaven because I am gay, as some followers of some religions would have it. Even as a child attending Sunday school, I could never accept the idea of a personified Heaven and was frequently scolded for daring to suggest that it might be somewhat overcrowded; the same could be said of Hell, of course.

Everyone to their own point of view, I say. But if I can respect a religious person’s notion of an after-life, why can’t they respect mine? Why should sexuality have anything more to do with how we get on with our lives than how we might (or might not) fare afterwards?

Whatever, this poem (like many others) is about having a spiritual relationship with death. As I grow old(er) I do think of death more often, but not morbidly; on the contrary, with growing reassurance.


Come a day, fair dawn
breaking and I not waking to see
or hear a skylark singing
about living this life to the full,
rays of sunlight streaming
through a chink in curtains closed
to keep out anxious night,
kissing me (goodbye?) one last time,
where then will I be
when you look for me in relation
to that eternity of faith and legend,
world without end?

Come a day, high noon
may find Apollo beating to a pulp
all manner of humanity
pacing floors or crouched at desks
over their computers,
demanding reasons for various crises
and discovering technology
is not the saviour we like to make out,
where then will I be
when you look for me in relation
to that cyber world we’d see replace
nature’s take on space?

Come a day, amber twilight
hinting at the beginnings and endings
of all things, we cannot know
if what the nightingale sings foretells
peace and love for us
or does its bitter-sweet sorrow mourn
a long, lonely, wait
without our ever knowing for what,
where then will I be
when you look for me in relation
to a comforting embrace of spirituality
promising immortality?

Come a day that would part us
for some mythical Forever, but look
and be sure to find me
in sunny skies and woodlands alive
with songs of love and peace,
where rivers run and swallows fly,
in shop windows as you pass by,
on TV shows we’d have to laugh at or cry,
and should you miss me there,
fall back on humanity’s customised
version of Forever, and find me waiting
in your mirror

Copyright R. N. Taber 2011

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