What Kind of Paradise

Written by: Robert Ludden

Death is increasingly my friend
as breath subsides; it hides no pretense
of regret or fear, but lets me own it
as a coverlet that I will know
as now is lover of eternity.

It is most gracious.   Candles
all around me silently snuff out
and share their peace 
in trails of rising smoke
that teach me of their transience,          
speak as voice may not 
of faithless time--of a reward
confined to castles in the clouds
or barefoot, unwashed gods 
with spirit swords.

This body graces me with death enough
to  yield eternal joy: 
if consciously, no promise need be made,  
if not, a dreamless nap devoid
of tangled bedclothes,
thunderstorms outside,
or mattress out of warranty;
insidious alarms will not exist,
nor yet the "I" to stand apart
and wonder why.