When the Rains Came…
The rain comes down, the shades go up
To watch the raindrops as we sup.
A mildly pattering, spattering sound
Is background to silverware clinking around,
And we talk of nothing much but each other’s day.
So calming is the rain, that thunder shocks
Us into fidgets of surprise and then locks
Us into counting the seconds between bursts
Of lightning and the booms, we count to desserts.
And wondering if it will last all night or go its way.
With dinner done, we do dishes, each pitching in
And quickly all is put away and our evening can begin.
We choose games to play and spend our time
Enjoying each other’s laughter, so sweet and sublime
Never imagining it could all go away.
But during the night a Tornado comes with a fury all its own
And with no warning but a roar, it destroys our lovely home.
It takes us each and flings us about like a soiled, worn-out shoe
And through it all we never knew it was a fate we all would do.
And then we arrive at Heaven’s Gate, surprised, too late to pray.
Is there to greet us, welcome us and helps us to calm down
And she gives us sweet juices and little thumbprint cookies with jelly
And we wonder if this is Heaven, then why do we need a belly
But it is so delicious and calming too, “it must be heaven we say.”
And only moments go by before a bell is clanging our way
And a Trolley with no wheels or tracks comes to take us away
And we ride through a town, that reminds us of Maysville, Kentucky
Where everyone is friendly and stalwart and plucky,
At least it seems to us, and we find it comforting in its own way.
Then the Trolley stops in front of our house, just like the one we left a moment ago,
The one we saw torn apart along with ourselves, and how can this be we wanted to know?
The jolly woman in the big red hat, says, “It’s where you’ll live until it’s time to go.
Go where we asked, aren’t we already here, please tell us more, we want to know.
“Oh, don’t worry good friends, it’s only a short stay.”
“And Since there is no time here, it will seem like a day.
And in no time at all you’ll be back on your way.”
“But where we asked, where will we go,
Where are we now, we simply must know?”
(We were really concerned and it seemed so far away.)
“Alright, children, relax and enjoy this way stop is for you,
It’s a place to rejoice, and say goodbye, before life starts anew.”
“What? (I said) To say goodbye? But we just got here and are together again,
Do you mean we will be separated? Not to see another till who knows when?
That is just not acceptable, it must be a mistake to send us astray.”
The jolly woman was not so jolly now, in fact she seemed piqued,
And her red hat had turned purple as she started to speak.
“There is no heaven, never was, never would be, it was just a myth
Life does not end with one trip on Earth, It’s something you just deal with
For many, many lives until you achieve the right array.
“The right array, what did you say? Please tell me more (I said)
I apologize for our ignorance but we’ve never heard this before.”
The woman smiled briefly, “then let me explain it, you each have an array,
An orderly arrangement of thoughts, feelings and values that you each purvey,
When a proper array is achieved, all your lives will be interweaved and you’ll each move away.
“But move to where,” I asked. I kind of like it here. Why can’t I stay.
The lady touched my hand and smiled, “It’s only a rest stop, there’s more lives on the way.”
“We each keep living, we grow a little each day, until we achieve the proper array.
Some call it God or Dharma, but it’s actually much bigger than concepts portray.
You’ll become a Universe of Light, where all things are one and you are one with all things,
You will be in every life form, every rock, every gas, not a drop will exist without you,
not a breath that isn’t yours and in every song someone sings. This is how you are in all things.”
“You are much more than ashes and dust, you are star dust and destined to grow
You have no idea of the miracles you’ll know or the places you’ll go as each life fine tunes
Your final array.” It may take one more life or it may take a billion, but it will never stop until
You become like a bouquet, a perfect, beautiful arrangement, your final array.”
We were completely overwhelmed with the knowledge she shared,
It was nothing like we had imagined, but we were not sure we cared.
Going on with living was something we knew, it was comforting to expect our life to renew,
So we did what we wanted, we did what we usually do,
We sat around and played games all evening and someone brought us stew.
Then we went up to bed just like we were home,
in our little house in not-so-heaven and more like Kentucky with a floating trolley,
but it was all we really knew.
But we weren’t alone, we had friends in high places in funny red hats.
And we had each other and we hugged each other tight.
For together as a family, this might be our last night.
Maybe. Maybe not.
Somehow it seemed right.
A poem by Gregg Sterett May 31, 2018