bobby1933 (bobby1933) wrote,

When My Death Comes I

I want a little piece of my body, my heart perhaps, buried by my wife's grave in Shelly, and the rest of it turned to compost to nourish some forest or garden somewhere. I don't like to seem morbid, but we are all going to leave our material forms some day. Mary Oliver died a few days ago and sh< was two years younger than me. Actually, i feel pretty good right now and i might have another five or ten years. It was Oliver who got me thinking about my own death. I will not care whether whether my heart is buried and my body composted in any sort of ceremony. But if any of my loved ones see fit to have some kind of memorial i would like the following poem fragment to be read. Skip the second through eighth lines for some in attendance might be (unlike me) pious, and others (like me) impervious to metaphor and simile. Also omit the last line. I don't mind having been just a visitor here

When death comes....

I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering:
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?

And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,

and I think of each life as a flower, as common
as a field daisy, and as singular,

and each name a comfortable music in the mouth,
tending, as all music does, toward silence,

and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to the earth.

When it's over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom; taking the world into my arms.

When it's over, I don't want to wonder
if I have made my life something particular, and real.
I don't want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument....

-- from New and Selected Poems, by Mary Oliver
Poetry Chaikhana | Sacred Poetry from Around the World
Tags: personal life, sacred poetry. death. mary oliver
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