Karmic Debt Management

I look about me and see my room, the books and things,
and behind it all in shadow, the relationships and deeds,
making up this lifetime accumulation.
I reckon and tabulate, seeking an accounting of the years so far;
the things I've done and the places I've been crash by in a rush,
every sin and every success is put through the formula
and falls to the floor like register tape,
adding or subtracting from the total.
Jobs done well and goals met
vie with broken promises and outright lies,
pulling the final sum from red to black and back again.

Through it all there's this futility,
like balancing a checkbook you know is overdrawn.
Good deeds just aren't as weighty as transgressions -
they lack that leaden density that sin carries.
It takes a lot of public radio memberships
and donations to the United Way
to make up for shots fired
in the line of a duty you never really believed in,
especially when you hit your target.
How many charity walk-a-thons does it take
to overcome a single broken oath,
a single untruth to a trusting lover?
I don't need to hit the enter key
to know the last number will be printed in red;
I'm not checking to see if I'm in the hole,
I just want to know how far.


Clayton said...

"I pass away, and the ripples in the sea of time that I caused loose themselves in infinity, like a silent tide that obliterates all trails of forgotten wanderers..."
-- 'Ripples in the Dirac Sea' by Geoffrey A. Landis

in other words, better luck next time around the karmic wheel

His Sinfulness said...


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