Transmigration (To God)

If, upon my death,

I must depart this earthly shell,

Perhaps I shall become a stone–

A stone would suit me well.

I would spend my time at the riverside.

I would never count the years.

No celestial extrapolation,

Bound by earthly fears.

But a stone passes its’ duration

Never feeling sad or alone.

It is hard to have a feeling

Being cold as a stone.


No, perhaps a stone is not quite right–

An inanimate object is not for me.

Perhaps a thing with living feelings;

Something simple as a tree.

I would break the ground and seek the sun;

Issue forth from fertile seed.

I would plunge a root in search of nourishment.

Upon the earth I would feed.

And as the years dispensed themselves

In circles round the sun,

I’d bind a ring about myself

In celebration for each one.


Oh but the storms that can wrack the limbs

And jar the sensitivity;

Oh how the cruel fingers of Winter

Claw at the bark so ruthlessly.

I could not stand the solitude.

I fear that flaw in me.

I fear I am not brave enough

To live life as a tree.


There remains but one alternative,

One ghost of a thought to pursue–

If I must leave this life behind,

I will return as you.

I will learn your moods and temperament.

I will learn your methods and your ploys.

I will taste your bitter sorrows

And feel the fine elation of your joys.

I do not wish to die,

To say else would be untrue.

But I hope when the moment comes

That I may pass from myself unto you.


Fall 1977


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