Known River

(The legend has it that a little boy named Nachiketa found a way to the Death-God’s house to ask Him about life, after life and rebirth. The legend also claims that he got his answers.)

“Before you go,’
The buffalo god said,
‘Know this, child, know-

A time will come so,
Sleep instead
Of your limbs, will grow.

Friends and foes-
In a wooden burnt bed
Will silently stow

You away. And you’ll row
A boat. In a river of red,
Batting with a strange paw of a crow.

Howlingly will glow-
(Hell-bound, you’ll see) The fire of head
Burning, fingers and of toes-

Closing your eyes and heavenly you’ll know-
The oil of virtue that the god has this made,
The womb of a mother, where the child grows-
To the day of the light and a warm smell of bread.”