The purpose of goodness

You must be good,
say your prayers daily,
ensure your bowl leaks just enough to nourish those in need,
follow the tenets,
and brand them into your skin,
ensure the beads keep moving through your fingers.

If you do this,
an appetizing afterlife awaits.
Saint Peter will usher you in through the gate of Paradise
and lead you to your throne in the midst of the gods,
between the fathers and the sons.
Or if you were told differently on earth,
seventy-two virgins will ravage you.
You will get to choose who goes first.
Of course, if you’re a woman,
they won’t know how you will be rewarded.

Be diligent,
ensure you follow the script.
If you aren’t up to the mark with your virtues,
the afterlife could be cloudy.
You might oscillate forever in limbo
or keep sinking in a bottomless hell,
or just get reborn and get dumped back on earth.

Or if you are fifty-fifty on vice and virtue,
they’ll send you to purgatory,
the no man’s land between heaven and hell.
Maybe, heaven has too many people,
so purgatory’s the waiting room.

And if in this life,
you see the virtuous suffer,
and the evil prosper,
make no mistake,
it is because they had some good karma
in a previous life.
It all adds up to the next afterlife.

So be good,
keep your shoes spotless,
be the best saint you can be.

All this for that coveted afterlife.

Hang on,
what if I told you they – the gods
lied about the afterlife?
What if the gods were a lie?

NaPoWriMo 2017, poem 20

Riverside reflections

The ferry bobs
touching the horizon
and retreating back to its place,
a game it plays with my vision.
A cathedral lurks in the background,
dwarfing the boats
and the boy who’s poised to jump off the ramp
into the river.
Yet in the moment
when the diver is in midair,
his body reaching like a missile into the surface below,
the ships and the churches
take a backseat.

NaPoWriMo 2017, Poem 13