Lessons from Before

Perhaps I’ve lived ten thousand lives

As boastful husbands and down-trod wives

Rich adventurer and frail old crone

No longer called by names once known


Captain of industry, pauper and fool

Adulteress drowned by the ducking stool

Each person I might once have been

By other’s eyes now cannot be seen


Past deeds all gone like smoke in space

Of fortunes and debts there is no trace

And material things, all left behind

No longer recalled by a clean slate mind


Each new existence, once the die is cast

Denying our knowledge of times long past

No shadow of a former self

Can ere be found by any who delve


But isn’t some imprint left somewhere?

In a cosmic memory recorded out there?

With access to lessons from earlier days

This might enable us improve our ways


Then born once more to make our mark

We needn’t begin afresh in the dark

By stages the world could better become

Improved for all and not for some


But covetous claims on things once thine

Would clog the courts with writs malign

So maybe it’s best to start afresh

As innocents wearing virgin flesh

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