Sometimes, when the winds are blowing through the pines, the full moon lights up the hills with its spotlight glow, I hear the owl calling from the trees, and know someday he’ll be calling my name, and I’ll have no choice but to go on that universal journey that marks the end of our lives. My body will join those of billions who have gone before me, and will become one again with the building blocks of new life. Though I have been promised more, the only continuity of my existence of which I am certain is the repository of memories I leave behind in the lives of those who have intermingled with mine. One of the guiding principles with which I was raised is that for a life to have meaning, it should strive to provide a positive benefit to another living being. In that vein, I found resonance with the following poem. Be well, stay safe.

Orchid Food

Sure, daisies may be the friendliest flower

but I don’t want to push them up forever.

Order or atoms? Philosophers ponder

all to conclude that it just doesn’t matter.

As for my own atoms, I think I would rather

become orchid food – not the pink packaged powder

that sits on my sill crying out just add water

but jungle germ, wedged in the crotch of a monster

mahogany, I am an epiphyte’s dinner.

Flat, thick leaves sprout from me, sacks of green leather,

pink moons, pastel moths hang from rope ladders

by dozens and hundreds for one to gather.

Although gone for good, I persist something greater:

I am become Phalaenopsis, filigreer

of worlds.

Clayton J. Baker

This entry was posted in America, Beauty, Death and Dying, Ethics, Family, Hope, Poetry, Thoughts & Musings, Time and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Afterlife

  1. Sunra Rainz says:

    Beautiful poem, thank you for sharing. Although your post resonated with me just as much. I love the image of the owl hooting your name one day, very atmospheric👌

  2. Jorge Medico says:

    Thanks for leaving a comment. There is a legend among the First Nation tribes that before a man dies, he will hear the owl call his name. Based on that, there is a wonderful old book called I read called ” I Heard the Owl Call My Name.” It may be out of print, but if you can find it, it’s a great read. Be well.

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