A bell rings out in a spirit temple, and the gathered ghosts
look up from their meditation, anticipating a new arrival.
Each one passed from life to death like the hand of a sleeper
reaching for the body of its lover, only to slip through time,
gliding into dimensions most living humans can’t perceive.
For now they’ll dwell in the house of the Lord, enjoying
the time off and peacefully pondering their next move.
There is plenty to choose from — endless possibilities.
Some may feel like giving this place another try,
while others will have had enough, and thus move on
to fabulous rainbow worlds of ravishing lyricism,
or so say the tourist brochures in their spirit folders.
Here’s a hint: always read the fine print!
A few are not sure where they’ll go. They hold a compass
in their ghost hands, but the needle keeps spinning around
and around, and never just points in one clear direction.
In any case, a flick of the wrist and we’re back here on earth,
getting accustomed once more to these physical bodies.
Another flick — badda bing — and we’re gone.
Some people claim when you’re dead you’re dead,
which is true for the body but the body’s not you.
You may drive a car but you’re not the car,
smoke a cigar but you’re not the cigar.
Simply stay silent, and watch how things begin and end.
See there’s no need for fear, it just spoils the day.
When that bell rings out in your own spirit temple,
drop the worn costume and be on your way.