Looking out the window at the trees
and counting the leaves,
listening to a voice within
that tells me nothing is perfect
so why bother to try, I am thief
of my own time. When I die
I want it to be said that I wasted
hours in feeling absolutely useless
and enjoyed it, sensing my life
more strongly than when I worked at it.
Now I know myself from a stone
or a sledgehammer.
With the Sun's Fire
Are you a horror to yourself?
Do you have eyes peering at you
from within at the back of your skull
as you manage to stay calm, knowing
you are being watched by a stranger?
Be well, I am seated beside you,
planning a day's work. We are contending
with the stuff of stones and stars,
with water, air, with dirt, with food
and with the sun's fire.
Bumping against rock in the dark,
he becomes the rock, stiffening in pain.
The pain fades and he becomes the lightness
and relief. He moves
and becomes the movement.
A rock in his path once more,
he falls to his knees
in awe of his past self.
His knees make him a suppliant
of his changes. He seeks to know
and becomes a form of the curious.
He touches himself at all points
and becomes his hands.
They touch stone,
a change he remembers,
and he becomes the remembrance
and moves nimbly in the dark
from rock to rock.
I am going to leave a child in an empty room.
She will have my body to look down on
at my death, when she will ask of the room
its address, the room silent,
stretching across the sky.
What comfort for her, my only expectation,
as in her infancy she climbs upon my lap?
My daughter, as I recede into the past,
I give you this
worth more than money,
more than a tip on the market:
prepare to live without me
as I am prepared.
I Wish a God Were Possible
I wish a god were possible,
at least for me, to find myself
content in that knowledge
and as I die believe an immemorial mind
will hold me in remembrance live
and let to walk about
in an eternal sense of self,
as children do, looking up
into the sky, of which they sense
themselves a part, the sky boundless.
Children think so,
and in my wish for god, I am a child
feeling in myself the wish
that is itself a god
in being boundless.
The Interview II
I represent The Morning Shout. We hear you are dying.
May we interview you before you pass on?
Certainly. There won't be another such another opportunity, I'm sure.
We'd like to know what you will miss most, at your death.
Music, nothing but music. Classical and popular, if someone or an
orchestra will play during my last hour. I'll be very thankful.
Are you happy to be passing on?
Well, I'm of two minds about it. One, I'd like to hang on a bit longer
and, on the other hand, if I can't, I'd like my passing on to be considered
an event of some importance.
Next question: Do you have any regrets for having lived as you did?
Is there anything you would have done differently if you were given
a second chance?
Oh, yes. I'd like to have said hello to my parents more often rather
than ignoring them, as I did, even as a young man. I'm sorry about
Is there something you can say you are proud of having done in life
that you would do over again if given the chance?
Oh, yes. I enjoyed making lots of money, and I'm very proud of having
left a fortune. It was a pleasure to accumulate, and I'd gladly do it
again, especially to see my name listed in the Obituary, with mention
of my wealth. Excuse me, I think I'm beginning to sink rapidly. I will
have to say good-by to you for now.
One last question: What are you experiencing at this moment in passing on?
Oh, a slight headache and a feeling of missing out on something.
Finally: Are you dead and, if so, can you describe it for us, for your
I would be buried beside my parents
to be told, Yes, our darling son,
it could have been better,
but we loved you. Lie down
beside us, face up to the sky.