To a Believer in Two Moods
by Robert Mezey
It’s Hallowe’en again—ooh, very scary,
Come face to face once more with the abyss,
Which waits for all, the wary and unwary,
Believer and infidel. For you, I know,
There’s nothing at all scary about this.
There’s no abyss, no nether world, no end,
Only an interval, a gathering round,
A sort of tiring-house from which we go
—To what? Ah, here my imagination fails me.
With or without wings? naked? shrouded? gowned?
Or disembodied consciousness? Not mine:
Mine is composed of earth and the things of earth
And every atom in my body tells me
Spirit and matter are one, and will decline
Together back to the darkness before birth;
I will cease to be I, I will not know
Even the instant when my remnants meet
Blessèd oblivion, infinitely forgiving,
Perpetual peace and silence and complete
Absence of pain. Now that’s what I call living.
Breathtaken at the foot of Uluru,
Wondering what to make of this strange land
Beyond a wild surmise, I thought of you,
Who would have found some way to understand
The speechless power of this vast red stone
And, far as the eye can see, a flat red sand,
And might have heard in the dawn wind a tone
Of sorrow that will never fade away—
A sorrow it could scarcely call its own.
My disbelief has nothing more to say.
I have no heart for making light of you.
If I believed in prayer, I would pray
You make your way at last to Uluru,
And everything that you believe be true.