Songs of the Living and the Dead

sky sunny clouds cloudy

Photo by Skitterphoto on

When I try to combine the beautiful, otherworldly experiences of the afterlife to the experiences of living, I am reminded of William Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Experience, especially the “Chimney Sweeper” whose dreams tell him that the great suffering of his life will be erased in the bright green hills of heaven, and he will play with the other children who have died. The innocence of his perspective brings some healing to the great tragedy of his short, brutal existence.

Part of heaven is always with us (no matter what we survive), and that perspective of great love and innocence is ours to keep.  After acts of violence, heartbreak, and loss, most people do their best move on and fit themselves into the machine of living.  It is important to remember that the amount of healing the world needs is as infinite as the love that is found on the other side.

Since my NDE in 1994, I have heard some people from on the other side speak after their deaths.  I kept these poems private, wondering if they might offend family members of the deceased.

But, hey, this is poetry we are talking about, so the chances are good that about five people besides other poets might read them, and I am not typically someone who backs down from a challenge.

Medium readings are meant to give comfort to family members, and these poems work in the same way to offer comfort and wisdom.

A year and a half after my near-death experience, I was at U.T. finishing up classes when I heard that Yitzak Rabin had been assassinated.  I went directly into meditation, and this is partially what I heard from him.

Perhaps these poems will lead to more questions than answers, but poetry is a fine medium to use to bring in the messages from the beyond.

Milk and Honey: Yitzak Rabin Speaks Minutes After His Assassination

“We should not let the land, flowing with milk and honey, become a land flowing with blood and tears. Don’t let it happen,.” –Yitzak Rabin 

Oy Gevalt, I am struggling with being dead.
We spend our lives checking our watches,
riding upwards on an eternal escalator,
and then suddenly we are not visible
and can assess our contribution to humanity.

What you read of my accomplishments
does not capture how I felt
or what and who I loved.
My immortal moment was no more
than the forcing of a little boy to shake hands with his enemy.
I became a magnet to my opposite—
life to death, and then I merged with death.

We spend our lives planning ourselves
only to wad up the notes,
the grand outlines, and the photos in a fist.
We do not control all the factors
to color in our wishes as we want them.

Sometimes, they must sit above our heads
as clouds that change and blow away.
It is how it must be.
I have tapped out my dance,
and the dark curtain now hides my face.
You will know only what they tell you.

My role is no less
no more
than another’s role.
Listen to your drama teachers
because it takes all the players to orchestrate
a moving production.

I look up, and I look down
as everything spins away from this blue world.
The joy here will render you
both heavy and light.

Walk slowly my dears
and appreciate everything.
I touch eternity now
the way a new born child reaches
toward the light
fresh with possibility.

© Tricia Barker, 1995

Yitzhak Rabin (1 March 1922 – 4 November 1995) was an Israeli politician, statesman and general. He was the fifth Prime Minister of Israel, serving two terms in office, 1974–77 and 1992 until his assassination in 1995. In 1992, Rabin was re-elected as prime minister on a platform embracing the Israeli–Palestinian peace process. He signed several historic agreements with the Palestinian leadership as part of the Oslo Accords. In 1994, Rabin won the Nobel Peace Prize together with long-time political rival Shimon Peres and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. In November 1995, he was assassinated by an extremist named Yigal Amir, who opposed the terms of the Oslo Accords.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s