Monday, May 26, 2008
LUNCH IN ELMWOOD CEMETARY
We, an indiscriminate crowd, welcome you to lunch,
Impotent shadows of the past, not tortured in a Greek Hell,
But in the common grave of mankind, the abode of the dead,
Where the bad and the good, the slave and the master,
The pious and the wicked who share this life
Obediently follow the sunless chemistry of our bodies
To cure among stones according to some cosmic purpose
A great, indefatigable cohesion, an undiscovered Law
Awareness so useful we dare to call it Knowledge
An ignorance so vast we can safely call it God.
Imagine us in our young flesh without scars
Hoping someone vain and reckless will notice
Longing for gratification above the ground, an embrace,
A wound of passion in the earth that exhales our dust
A chance to rise above the sound of motion as reliable as the tides
Where the wise and foolish labor with equal skill to ignore us
Until they open the earth to bury or remove something.
There is no better way to make a man miserable
Than to convince him he should always be happy
Life is trial and error, a search for something that works,
A collection of scars and the stories that go with them
The happiest among us learn to laugh about them
Then leave one last scar on those who love us most
You shall know them by their tears and laughter.
For those who suffered in life, death is joy
For those who loved and were loved, death is sorrow
For those who had nothing, death is a world they already know
For those who had everything, death is a final and sumptuous act of charity
A command to let it all go and get out of the way
Our grave is just another act of creation
A vestige of our beginning, no prospect of the end.