The poem I posted a day or two ago went, I'm sorry to admit, a little off-course during the writing. I'd stopped to read an email from a reader, which caused me to veer into a theme I've discussed several times now, and which I really ought to let lie—the unworthiness of the Abrahamic god for any respect, let alone worship. What it said, it said quite well, I think—or at least hope—but here's what I started out to say.
Oh, and the banshee, I should point out for the benefit of any would-be snarkists of my supernaturalism, is purely metaphorical. If you're interested, though, its name is Derek. It has a part-time job, between pre-death wailing engagements, as a street-cleaner in Cumbernauld. It was born in Slough in 1805 and, for a hobby, collects toe-nail clippings. Its favourite TV show is Celebrity Combine-Harvester Racing On Ice, and it likes the occasional game of dominoes and a quiet pint (of real ale) at the local pub with its friend Sheila, a Bogeywoman and part-time assistant cheese-cutter.
There's a mist in my eyes; dim grows my sight
And I think my time is up.
There's a banshee cryin' out there tonight.
I've drunk my final cup.
Don't try to excuse all that I've been.
Don't flatter and speak me well.
There is no god, your prayers to heed—
No Heaven, nor a Hell.
Bury my body, or set it alight
Or sink it in the sea
Or dump it in a land-fill site—
It matters nought to me.
For billions of years I didn't exist;
For billions I'll not be here.
I have no soul that will persist,
Yet I own no lack of cheer.
There'll be no me to miss this life.
I won't be here to mind.
But if this thought should cause you strife,
Here's comfort, of a kind.
In supernovae we were forged—
From heavenly fires, spat.
The clay-made dolls of Abr'am's lord
Can ne're compete with that
These atoms have helped build many forms
Since ere the suns have burned.
These atoms, once, in stars were born.
To stars they will return.