I lay down on the couch on a hot afternoon
And got lost in the thought
That this old world needs a make-over.
Right then I had a vision:
I saw Spirit reshaping everything.
Whole populations were melting back into clay.
I focused my vision like a microscope
And saw amazing things:
The fern became a rock,
The rock, a rabbit,
The rabbit, a turtle
The turtle, a pepper
A Chrisitan, a Buddhist
A Hindu, a Jew.
Then I saw Creator shaping a bird with my name on it.
Wait a second!
(I am trying to be a good creation,
But I thought I would be a person again!)
May I be a person?
In this vision, which runs kind of like a trailer,
Spirit frowned and turned to me.
You only get to be a person two times in a row
If you die when you are close to a breakthrough.
Me: I thought I was!
No, you weren’t.
Me: What about the Christian who you are bringing back as a Buddhist?
And the Hindu
You just refashioned as a Jew?
Everybody who adheres to a strong faith
In any religion, faith, doctrine or theology is close to a breakthrough
And gets to be reborn in another faith . . .
Or as an atheist.
You were just a dreamer and a poet,
So you get to be a bird. Stop complaining.
With that, Creator turned and kept fashioning
The bird that I will be.
Then everything got fuzzy and I got up
Remembering there was some kombucha in the fridge.
I’ve been thinking a lot about reincarnation lately, maybe because I’m in my seventh decade and it seems like a good use of my time to sort out what I am hoping for or believe will happen to me when I pass. I recently posted a serious reflection on the difference between death and passing. This poem makes light of or even fun of, the subject. It’s written as a kind of inside joke with a lot of irony. I mean, who wouldn’t want to be reincarnated as a bird! And who would want to be reincarnated as a human in the future we have cursed our descendants with. I am realizing more and more that living a long time is both a blessing and a curse. When I was in my thirties, when it was impossible to imagine living as long as I already have, I was very pessimistic about the future if the human race didn’t wise up. We haven’t wised up and that future that I dreaded is now my present. I derive no pleasure from having been right in my dark prognostications. Just for the record I do believe that religious people, regardless of their faith, simply by having chosen a spiritual path, are closer to a “breakthrough” than non-religious folks or folks who don’t believe in any divine intelligence behind the undeniable cosmic miracle of creation.