NaPoWriMo 2018 – #15 The Bardo

Zhi-Khro_Bardo_Thodol.jpg

A few months ago I read George Saunders’ “Lincoln in the Bardo”. Its premise is that when Abraham Lincoln’s young son, Willie, died, he was trapped in a place between life and death, the bardo. The bardo, in some schools of Buddhism, is  a liminal state between death and rebirth. Whilst in Vietnam I wrote a draft of this as a homework exercise with friends Gaby and Nick. I’ve updated it slightly in this version.

The Bardo

In the death flash,

his past flickers to life

on a parchment screen.

 

The saddest scenes,

his worst deeds,

his shame freeze framed.

 

Unedited lowlights

on endless repeat,

the happy parts made banal.

 

His next life

a pinhole of light

unwilling yet to show its hand.

 

 

 

 


Copyright Mike Hopkins 2018

Image: Zhi-Khro Bardo Thodol.jpg

About NaPoWriMo

(Some / most of these could be rightly described as “chopped up text”. But that’s how first drafts often look.)

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