The Afterlife Of Death

By Michael Shepherd

Why should mankind not face
the thought of afterlife?

For half the world or so,
there is no great concern:
in time you just come round again
to improve upon your last performance –like
an athlete, daily training round the track

which if it’s so, then, perhaps, how sad
that we are not aware just how we’ve done this time,
compared with how we did last time –
it might be quite a spur!

of course, if heaven’s way beyond
all boundaries of time and space
we can surrender with relief
our picture of our tone-deaf self
learning to play the.. harp..?
or engaging in those activities
(outside time and space?)
which Islam seems to promise…

but if the whole Creation, as it’s said,
is all one single act of love,
then let’s imagine death, or afterlife
a part of that same divine love:
for if, as every religion expresses in its way,
our god is love – then how can death
not be a part of that same love?

so (as those who have nearly died, aver)
there stand to welcome us, all the family
and friends that we have ever known and loved;
but with this difference: that seen
with all the vision of that total love
we understand all our, and their, apparent differences
and see this from that heart of total love..

and if it’s so, that once again
we have to re-enter earth’s burning atmosphere
born into another life that we’ve now earned,
our first cry and tear and heavenly smile
may tell all

And if perhaps this seems all fantasy – then,
perhaps, if all is love,
love’s sleep, love’s dream, and love’s awakening –
and also, this, my fantasy of love in death,
may all be samely, simply, love.

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