Of the value of life

I May Be Dead, But I Will Not Have Gone

Of the value of life

My last breath will have been given to the air around me,

So look for me in the still air of morning,

And in the rushing winds of the afternoon.

My body will have returned its borrowed substance to the world around us,
So look for me in the growing grass
And the swaying of the woodland trees.

My genes are only borrowed from the generations before me,
So look for me in the countenances of my children,
And the happy smiles of my grandchildren.

The waters of my body will have been returned to the atmosphere,
So look for me in the magnificent clouds of the day-time
And in the radiant skies of the sunset.

My love was given to me by my parents,
So look for me in the love I have given you
And in the love you give to your children.

My thoughts I have always shared with those who cared to listen,
So look for me where other folk now run their courses
And may change the world just a little.

From the stuff of stars came the atoms that made me,
To the stuff of stars they will eventually return.
I may be dead, But I will not have gone.

Patrick Coleman*

Now a Member of Truro Meeting, Patrick was for many years a Member at Liskeard and the original editor of The Fountain.


1 On 26/05/2020 Mette wrote:

Your lovely poem could without any controversy grace the pages of the guardian, the observer, the independent. The philosophy of your poem is a philosophy that will cause no offence, or make any feet shuffle awkwardly, at any dinner party of the educated.
Your poem may be many things, but the message of the new testament it does not contain. Whatever the practicalities of the life after life, they most certainly are practical. Real. Reality. That is the astoundingly good news that a few good men and women, at massive cost to themselves, set out to spread throughout the bleakness of the world some two thousand years ago. We need this message still, told in plain and simple words that a child may understand, because no other message can wipe the tears from every eye.

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