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Beyond Ourselves
By Lowell Kirk


Life begins simple enough.
And so it did for man, untold eons ago.
Innocently, spontaneously,
with simple pain and uncomplicated struggles.
Life ends simple enough.
And so it did for tribes,
and cities, and nations, and empires.
Life ebbed and flowed,
with quiet and sudden violence.


Between Birth and Death
lay the violent struggles
within the minds of nations
within the hearts of men,
which gave rise to language,
and scribbling, for means to achieve
some small measure of immortality.


And so for six millenniums,
give or take a few,
preserving thoughts with language,
Mankind made a stew.
Some minds engorge themselves upon
this stew with strange delight.
Believing that this span of time,
Is but a single night.
While others place no value
upon enduring thought.


For not a solitary thing,
has wisdom ever bought.
Of all the world's most precious gifts
material wealth can't buy
a single breath of putrid air,
the moment that you die.
But thoughts endure across the gulf
of unspanned death and life.


So living minds convey the power,
of passion, love and strife.
Ten thousand years or longer
If this be writ in stone
some minds can know our struggle
can feel and hear us moan.


Life begins simple enough.
Life ends simple enough.
In some unknown distant past
to some unknown distant future
We are all linked together
in a great circular chain,
Whose only beginning or end
is ourselves,
If we do not emanate beyond ourselves.

-July 12, 1991


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