Saturday, May 14, 2016

Life Beyond the Grave?

Is there life beyond the grave? Isn't this one of the most important questions a person can ask? Ed Pacht's poem explores this and asks another important question: "When I am beyond the grave, have I left the ongoing story of this life? Is there more to my story in the here and now?"

Ed writes, "I am in many ways an expression of the earthly lives of my Yankee Puritan and German Lutheran ancestors, and though they have presumably entered eternal life, their earthly story simply has not ended."

The End
The end:
“…lived happily ever after,”
but did they?
Was that the end?
Does ‘ever after’ ever end?
Ah, yes, perhaps it does.

The end:
the final end,
or is it?
Does life cease?
Is the story then complete?
Or is there more to tell?
Do the living still go on?
Is there a tale beyond the grave?
Infinity never stops,
never stops,
never ends.
The end:
a name upon a stone,
and dates,
perhaps a line of text,
in a quiet place where others lie.
Is it the end?
Is this all there is to say?

Or does a tale begin,
a quest,
a search for what has gone before?
What brought this person to this place?
What joys and pains are in this tale?
What of this life still now goes on?
What of the works this one has done,
the progeny that have been left behind,
the thoughts that he or she then thought,
or the beauty of the place we see?

Ah, has this story now been ended,
or has it only just begun?
Beginning, middle, ending of a tale,
not so clearly separate as we thought,
but this brings this poem to completion,
and now this truly is the end,
or is it?

ed pacht
11 May 2016

Related reading: Stories Don't Hold Still

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