by Doreen Hopwood
She was unfortunate.
Not that it happened very often.
The intention was to sublimate
your being, allow your memories to soften
and dissolve immediately. The process
was supposed to be a steady
elimination of knowing, loss of access
to thought, no ever ready
stream of memories to sustain
her on this unspeakable journey.
Stories told to lessen the fear of this place,
eulogies of loved ones and fairy
tales of your guardian angels, saintly faces
beaming love and light were all nonsense.
The guardians of this universe
treated your arrival as some sort of offence,
impassive and looming, completely averse
to their victims’ fear, nictitating eyes
watchful and cold, they stood at each
imagined corner, their colossal size
and presence preventing the slightest breach
of security. There would be no escape.
She still understood the concept of light and shade,
knew sunlight and moonglow, the shape
of Mother Earth, panicking as the image began to fade.
She was one of the unlucky few,
memories coming and going in fitful
snatches, like waves on a new
and unknown ocean, a shining jewel
just beyond her reach.
She recalled the concept of nothingness
was a theory mystics used to teach,
if only she could remember the basis
of their argument, she would know what
to expect as the diaphanous canopy of star studded
mystery surrounding Earth fought
with total non-existence while her soul wandered
further and further way from the last vestiges
of consciousness. Now there was no light,
no dark, no cerebral messages,
no-one to see or hear her plight,
no present, no future, no past,
complete annihilation of the soul
until acquiescence came at last,
and the knowledge that Death
had made her whole.