GONE TO THE GODS

Death comes sneaking up like a cat
But I escape it by leaping into the air, twirling three times –
I play better than any death-cat.

Some days, I hope Death forgets to come –
But then I remember that Death never forgets –
Death always licks its plate clean.

Since I’ve recently been granted a new grandson in the world –
Will Death now consent to “punch my ticket” –
Scheduling me for a fast ride into oblivion.

As I approach closer to Death
I’m open to accepting its help in loosening my ties to the world –
Shedding old habits like flowers flung back into fields
Or bright coins – thrown out for strangers to be surprised by.

The last things to go will be my beloved books –
Every room in my house wears them with emotional warmth
But, one day, those shelves will all be emptied
And no one will know I ever lived here.

I hope I’m long gone before Death arrives
Who’ll be quite surprised at missing me –
Death thought I would be a tasty snack
But its teeth hit only air –
Because I’ve gone ahead to the gods –
And my own pregnant invisibility.

HEART OF GOD

My grandson, Jules, was recently born
Knowing a good part of what I’d like to know
The moment I die.

And that is – a moment of purity, serenity, and composure –
Before, one day in the future, hopefully, flowering into ecstatic joy.

From the moment of birth – God’s gift of first in-breath –
To the moment of death – God’s gift of final exhalation
Is usually a long and eventful road.

I myself would like to end up with Jules’ ability to gaze out at the world
With such unknowing “wonder” –
In fact, at the end, I’d like to achieve that same look –
Accompanied, of course, with a conscious compassion for the entire world.

I’d like to understand what Jules experienced as truth at his birth –
And then end up achieving a mature ability to love.

Jules, someday I’d like to be able to “see” as clearly as you did on day one –
While, over my lifetime, developing a heart as big as the entire world –
Perhaps even paralleling, in my own small way, God’s own infinite heart.

Yes, I want to go out as clear-eyed as this newborn baby arrived –
While, over time, diligently developing a heart of God.