Legacy [poem]

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We think we’re so important
in this world of helter-skelter
pitter-patter fleeting fashion.
Do we matter to a universe
our petty lives must bore to
death so much that we create
a yawning chasm resting on
a crutch (earth ash cremate)?

We make our selves the central sun
and then expect all other body lives
to orbit round us with their eyes
transfixed upon our station in the skies
as if we have a right to usurp worship
while we aggrandize our trite self-serving
told and untold lies.

What shape do you think your
disappearance here would make?
Even those you think would miss you
(including those who plenty kissed you)
very soon forget your face (and even diss you).
Six months (earth time) further down the line
from when your cold cadaverous smile first
slid down that darkly mile preassigned
there’s nothing left which takes your space.
You’re just an empty memory trace.

Then a rage of voices blasts against my ears
saying “What about those lovely souls who
gave their all for those less blessed than them?
Mother this and Father that. Are they not
forever to be honoured and remembered
for the awesome works they rendered?”

The harsh reality is, my friends, that those
who float around the globe doing good
so all the world can see their cheerful charity
are not without some sly self-serving
own agenda (this, in spite of all their splendour)
or they are in cryptic craven clear complicity with
those we euphemistically call the powers that be.

For all true good takes place away from public
glare — seeks neither honour nor to see itself
declared before all human eyes as something
special. For doing good’s enjoined upon us all
by dint of being people made to have such
stratospheric flight that even angels marvel at the sight.

So when you start to fret about your own posterity
bear in mind that no one on this earth can truly read
what lies within another’s soul. A serial killer, crushed
within from birth, maybe has no more gutter deeds
than someone thought to have great worth but who
for real in secret is in dark exploits immersed.

What matters is when all’s been said and all is done
[and this applies to everyone]
that we seek not to be admired (in adulation’s coat
attired) nor to feel the smugful glow of pride
but knowing quietly inside the dulcet tones
of humble hunger’s harp we then outsmart
all trumpet trace of vanity’s cigar while knowing
the complexity of who we are we seek no
special place in history’s grand bazaar of names
remembered from afar. For all that’s taken to account
is how we have prepared our souls for taking up our
future role when earth to earth and ashes we become.

Will we — transformed to other beings free at last —
become the butterflies and fulfilled sighs that we
were always meant to be when by our maker’s side?

© 2012, Alan Morrison

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