Console her with the Atheist’s philosophy:
____Never mind! Your grandma’s dead.
It’s Nature’s way of denoting an atrophy
____In the muscles, lungs and head.

I mean to say her central nervous system
____Was gradually shutting down.
You really can’t appreciate its Wisdom?
____Oh, darling, must you frown?

For when we too are old and in our grey hairs,
____We shall start to senesce.
And that’s when all our trials and all our past cares
____Shall slowly evanesce:

For darling, they were nothing but illusions
____Of an over-active brain!
And that’s from whence does stem this sad confusion
____About Hope, and Fear, and Pain!

They’re really nothing more than mere self-interest
____Of that selfish, selve-ish seed:
And that’s why, dear, I must admit that it’s best
____(I mean for the human breed)

That your granny’s not around to clog the action
____Of the great genetic pool.
She got seventy years, and now it’s traction
____Has snapped back: that’s the rule.

For really, what’s the point of all the dying,
____And the old, sick, halt and lame?
Oh, darling, you must cease from all this crying!
____Worship Darwin and his name!


Samuel Johnson lives in Richmond Hill, Ontario, and works for the L’Arche Daybreak community.


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2 Responses

  1. Amy Foreman

    Exactly. “Console” her with the atheist’s philosophy. Works equally well in fox-holes too, I’ve heard.

  2. Damian Robin

    Take a photo of the late Charles Darwin
    Who buried God at his daughter’s death.
    Look at a photograph of dead Walt Whitman
    Whose lines became so long and grandiose and bilious and, literally, self-centred without recompense,
    He lost his breath.

    Each likeness is a living body quote.
    When alive, they’d often gain applause.
    Their white beards now are like the books they wrote —
    Accepted with a childlike innocence —
    like Santa Claus.


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