death is the ultimate test –
it is irreversible, a one-way-only gate,
a membrane that filters you out
and then returns to its stillness.
death is both never and near,
certain and so unknown
that those who live the illusion of total control
spend their days in fear.
the ultimate test, where the win or the loss
depend not on what you might have done, or will
do or not,
where the grade to pass is your faith
or the absence of it, in all who you are.
so death is a sieve, a winnowing fan, applied
to the rocks, and the grain, and the light bits
that make up a self:
because i believe, i die,
because i die, i believe –
and trust to be sorted out later.
*there has been much discussion about death and killing in the mass media recently. this poem was written as an afterthought, as a what if, a thought experiment, an attempt to understand some of the pradoxical mechanisms that do not lend themselves to naming easily