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Non Credo

I have said no, on the evidence, and mainly in my strength
Face cheerfully the entail.
Besides, it is a worn out argument to most, not worth
The brain’s energy and the while.
We are material.
The world of matter urgently requires us here.
God is not, and his dad
Was not a carpenter.

I am conscious; consciousness is better than oblivion.
Yet I consent to be nothing
When the time comes; or if, against the odds, there is some transposition,
For that too I am willing.
At least one thing is certain:
No grand examiner will name the good and evil.
Heaven and hell are not.
Hereafter is a level.

Yes, put it down like that. When some mornings bring a loss of nerve,
When suddenly I am surprised by fear,
When the circus of texts and images sees its chance to revive,
That will do for an answer.
We are responsible.
Our actions and our loves will be the verdict on our stay.
If not we, then no one
Makes a difference either way.

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Listen to this poem — read by the author