Randel McCraw Helms
Just think of it: one day the bits of you
Will grace again the biosphere, and,
In due course, the universe, to nourish
And rejoice a tree, a tiger, your descendants,
Another star. Best to burn cleanly to
Soft powder and ash; soon, soon, you may be
Life again, or your bones marble for
Tomorrow’s shining Michelangelo.
Scatter, fly as wind, fall as rain upon
All you love. Let them drink you in their wine,
And revel, and bear strong young to be bone
Of your bone. Or, perhaps, what better fate
Than to soar part of the eye of a hawk,
Or the vast, breaching fluke of a great blue whale?
Nothing is ever Lost
During its gracing of our age,
Nelson Mandela’s heart beat
Approximately three and a half
And my own was privileged to burn
The same planetary oxygen
For two billion of those beats.
And I have breathed where Martin King
Told us that he has a dream.
And every time I drink a glass
There is a chance that I consume
One vivifying molecule the heart
Of Jesus poured upon that tree.
And the cleansing wash of the Magdalene’s
Tears still lingers in the sea.
Randel McCraw Helms was a professor of English at Arizona State University until his recent retirement. Now he devotes himself full time to his lifelong secret vice, making poems.