If, as they say, the cells
of the body are replaced every seven
years, then I'm a new being
since my sons were newborn.
I have died and been reborn
neither better nor worse yet remembering
feeding them while dancing to Moment's
Notice, as they attended with new minds.
Having died, as such, I find I do not mind
quiet living with the purpose of a cell
unbound by minutes or moments
as men know them. There are seven
deadly sins, seven ways of remembering,
seven stages in which to have been or continue being.
None of them recur after one's reborn
and none are known to us from before we're born.
Of the two young people to whom I was born,
one has lately died. I do not so much mind.
Although I do not, he believed he'd be reborn
and who can say what happened to his soul or cells?
Perhaps in Christ we continue being,
or with some other deity, as the churches claim monotonously, momentously,
demonically and deviously. It seems about as relevant that seven
rhymes with heaven and rhyming's a mnemonic device (for remembering).
what? To go to the daily discipline to which you were born?
I fought seven forest fires, took seven
lovers, my sons are seven, and my mind
is the sole owner and subsidiary of these memories and moments.
Unless I am to be reborn
they disappear with me. Masefield's poem continues to be
the most honest and chilling assessment of our souls' and cells'
disbursement. I can imagine stem cell
research may lead to a cure for dementia, loss of memory
about who you are and where you've been.
If one's not been born
this doesn't matter. But if you're being reborn,
in the sense of "he not busy being born is busy being reborn" (Dylan),
then it is best and most correct to consider your last moment
of a continuum with moments endless and entirely in your mind.
The mind is made of cells and moments, seven billion of them.
Remember to be born and reborn, early and often.
Copyright 2007 by Robert Ronnow.