Friday, January 11, 2008

dead man

Today on my way back from the bazaar, I saw a car that had gone down the hill yesterday. It was a shiny silver car that had fallen a few hundred feet down a steep hillside and stopped against a tree. I do not know any more than that, really, but I can't imagine that anyone could escape or survive such a thing. Sometimes when I encounter death, it seems like a person is so close to me and my world, but they have gone and they know what there really is. So much of our philosophical world has been established in the pursuit of what lies beyond, that it is startling to remember that a full understanding is very close indeed. Being near to death leaves me in awe of that moment of truth that I will experience some glad morning...

His car fell down in a crashing dive,
He had seconds to think but no time to survive.
In a fury of doubt his mouth silently cried,
As he dreaded and feared and submitted and died.

As his blood still dried on the flowers and rocks,
And his body still cooled in its twisted steel box,
I was close to him then as he was to me,
But worlds apart because he could see...

He discovered eternity there on my hill,
Knowing forever what I someday will.
He had pondered for moments in a life like a mist,
What he learned for all time at eternity's tryst.

At that moment of death in his long quick fall,
He knew all the falseness or trueness of all,
Of his Hindu gods and the gods of the Sikh,
Of inheritance promised to the blessed meek,

Of the hosts of the gods of the nations of men,
And of demons and angels and karma and Zen,
Of sacrifice, piety, wrath from above,
Of holy propriety, clarity, love.

The faiths of so many revealed as illusion,
The faith of a few as a saving profusion.

The stillness and silence that some expect,
The eternal hopes of every sect.
The truth became real and the lies fell away,
As eternity swallowed his final short day.

He knows now if heaven or hell are all there,
He knows about paradise, death, or despair.
With absolute certainty and no doubt to cast,
This man saw the truth when his eyes closed at last.


  1. Sobering thoughts so well articulated in verse!

    I continue to follow your adventures with your growing family as a teacher at Woodstock.

    Praying for a productive year for you and your students.

  2. I LOVE reading your writings. You are an amazing writer (-an amazing person really!). Thank you for articulating these things for me and others to read. I'm thrilled to be your wife! :)
    - your girl