IMMORTALITY IS YOURS FOR THE ASKING
The words of the “immortal bard” William Shakespeare are forever, which is a type of immortality. Years ago, when I wrote my first novel, a lady lawyer was talking about her life and said “you have your immortality, you wrote a book.” I laughed, thinking I am a spiritual being and my immortality is assured, book or not. But her idea was that I had secured my place in the annals of human memory by writing a book—Dawn’s Revenge, a thriller set in the New Orleans French Quarter.
A few years ago, at an Artists in Action meeting, Barbara “Stazja” MacFaydden announced a Human Rights international poetry contest with the entry fee of $1.00. At the meeting, I thought of the essence of Human Rights as applied to suppression of art and I scribbled out this poem and read it to the group. It won first place! I didn’t realize it then, but it speaks of immortality.
You can’t keep me prisoner
I am a child at one with the universe
I am a song, a poem, a living thing
I care not what you do to me
For I am forever
You cannot contain a song
A poem, a spirit
With your bars
With your fears
With your threats of reprisal for my reaching and touching.
I will be here
Singing, writing my poems
When your bars are rust
When your fears are laughter
And when your threats are but faraway echoes
Vague shreds of something barely remembered
And my song will still ring among the stars.
You can gain your immortality by writing that book that is in you. It is your song to [...]