Errand

I'm on my way to Newcastle
With pockets full of coal.
I'm sailing on the White Star Line
In ice fields toward the pole.

I've been dispatched with messages
To carry to a star,
But the meanings are encrypted,
And I can't tell what they are.

I've caught a tide that's ebbing.
The wave that washes me
Has crested, crashed, and broken,
And I'm headed back to sea.

Leviathan has swallowed me
Passed teeth and gills and gullet;
I am the awful offal
In the orca-ego stomach.

Said the Mother of All Being, "Go!
Live a life and learn.
It's just errand into town.
I'll wait for your return."

I've tried to travel ethically.
I've tended toward the Light,
But we're arrant knaves.
Trust none of us. Hamlet had it right.

Sages say the journeying
Is what it's all about.
The end of things is meaningless.
The sanest path is doubt.

But I'm not in love with sanity.
I've lost my trust in "Truth,"
And I'm not the avid journeyer
I once was in my youth.

Sheol, The Gates of Larger Life,
Elysian Fields, Nirvana,
Are myth and superstition,
A scroll of dead arcana.

We're led by men of science now,
Where none have gone before.
They guard the gates of larger life.
With promises of more.

But it's cold as cryogenics.
It's robots, cyborgs, drones,
A grave new world of technocrats,
(There may be hope in clones.)

And now I've donned my best, gray suit.
I'm powdered, poised, and posed
To see if gates be open
Or permanently closed.