Monday, 20 April 2015

I don't fear the night

I don't fear the night.

-For my children and grandchildren.

I don't fear the night.
The ocean ebbs. The sun sets.
After the day comes the dark.
So too this body must decline,
yield, slump and fall
before the overlord, Time.
His reaper will come. He must.
The leaf falls, the stump rots.
All living things turn to dust.

I do fear the night in day,
the dying of mind, the slow decay
so that the hard-won gains of mind
are inevitably eaten away
and justice and love
are usurped by need
or, in sad pitiable display,
the dying mind without restraint
permits the primitive to romp and play.

I hold no fear of night.
Winter is followed by spring,
the ebb the flow, the dark the light.
The bare branch bursts into blossom.
From dust new plants bloom
and long ago men of practical bent,
fishermen, ordinary, unheroic folk,
witnessed a miracle, which they said
was for them a life-changing event-
their friend and teacher, a crucified man,
rose miraculously from the dead.

I don't fear the night.
In willing surrender I bend my knee
and bow before the Lord of Light,
desiring that transformed life be granted to me,
not through virtue, understanding,
or by meritorious serving,
for, too wonderful for words,
the resurrection of the dead
is freely gifted to the undeserving

No, I don't fear the night,
Yet if from the last sleep
I never in rebirth arise,
though the great gift be granted to other eyes,
then let it at least be said
that in this life of flesh and blood
he grew in spirit and mind,
judged none but self,
sought and strove to forgive,
desired justice, was merciful and kind
and grew in patience and in love
despite the ravages  of time.

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