I Have Things Which I Call Mine

God has things which He calls His –
I have things which I call mine –
But who really owns the soul that was taken from me days ago –
When the sun for me had ceased to shine?

I claim that soul to be mine –
As it had been in life throughout –
But God claims that it is His –
For reasons only He knows about

Help me! Somebody!
I’ve got a problem here!
A big problem –
And I don’t know what to do!
There are several questions
I require answers to

I’ve got claim of Theft against God!
And I don’t know how I’m supposed to win –
Who will be the Judge of God?
And what Courthouse will He be tried in?

Where can I get myself a lawyer?
I have no experience in law –
Or Law –
Here, all the lawyers are fighting for their own souls –
Albeit in a different Court of Law

So pray tell me –
If anyone has answers to my questions –
Of you I implore!
Get it to the room Father in which has grounded me –
Or else tell it to me outside Heaven’s Door

You see –
I don’t want to go to Heaven –
I want to return to my place of birth –
Where my family kills grass on my grave with their tears –
I want to return to their Haven –
And Earth

Their Haven may be short of Heaven –
But I could never look down from Above –
And watch them mourn whilst I sit with God’s
Facsimiles of my children and my Love

No –
My conscience would never be at ease –
And I would never –
Be able to rest in peace




Copyright by Minh Tan on listed dated of completion.


.Notes to this poem…

This is a difficult poem for me to explain, including because of the fact it challenges religious views, which may not even be the right views, but views nonetheless.

The idea of the poem was to challenge the view one’s soul somehow belonged to “God” (in any religion with a devil so it’s not just Christianity) by default when you died. It’s probably not preached that way in the gospels, leaving the soul to be one’s own forever, but it can be perceived as being that way. Why would God care so much if I sold my soul to the Devil unless God wanted it or wouldn’t take me into Heaven without it? Whatever happened to forgiving? And what good would Heaven be if it couldn’t take care of the needy? Who makes shelters only for kids and women who are all right instead of those abused or abandoned? Heaven can’t be like that, can it?

But if not, then again, why does it matter so much I have my soul? Is that the price of admission to Heaven? And what if I don’t want to pay it? Something gets confusing in all of this and it just seems like if I hadn’t sold my soul to the devil, I’d end up in Heaven where then my soul belongs to God, and don’t tell me I’m the only person who mistakenly might have thought this from gospel teachings. So where is my choice in the matter since there isn’t exactly a place for me to go as “limbo” is a pagan concept? This is from where the poem concept comes.

So in the poem, it’s just after I have died and find this out. I’m asking for help in the greater court of Law with a capital L, where God is the Judge so who should judge God? The question is philosophical in another sense in that humanity has always fashioned their Gods in their own image, using the excuse in reverse that God, or the gods, fashioned us in their image. Good BS if you ask me, beyond the defined confines of the definition for propaganda.

Somewhere in there, I saw an opportunity to poke fun at lawyers and Hell, though, and I took it. I don’t think of all lawyers in that light, of course, but I would confine the majority of them there.

As for the completion of the poem, the reason I would argue to keep my soul is that I don’t exactly have an interest in Heaven, even if it were true. Life in Heaven would be staid and uninteresting. Happiness on its own doesn’t take long to turn to boredom. People would just to be more happy than the other. Heck, it happens here on Earth with rich people, and not so rich, trying to show they’re happier than other people, and being unhappy when they aren’t, like if they didn’t get as big a car as the neighbour, or have yet another baby like their relatives somewhere and the attention has shifted away from them. Unfortunately, some humans can only be happy when others are not as happy as them. There is no happiness for everybody unless many of us are given victims against which to put ourselves above. And you know, if all that gets cured in Heaven, well, a lot of people just lost their souls because they’d be someone else other than their true selves.

No, I’d rather come back to Earth if I could and try to do some good for the humans still living here that will always need some good help. Thanks, but no, thanks, to Heaven. Just give me back my soul and put it back into another body cause you know what? I’d just be unhappy in Heaven knowing there are others down here on Earth I couldn’t help. And if I could, like everyone could and should if they are that good hearted to be in Heaven, there’d be no unhappiness on Earth, either, cause there should have been enough angels created over the years for everyone of us to have an army of them watching over us.

You see why now I went Atheist or Agnostic despite having been taught English in a Baptist Church for some years? It gets destroyed to a crisp in a good argument, with reference to “God has the answer” for anything it can’t, like blind faith can always claim as an easy opt out. If I weren’t destined to be Atheist or Agnostic to that point of learning English in my pre-adolescence, they certainly made one out of me. I never got enough Buddhism on me to write poems like this about Buddhism, but that’s at least a lot closer to something I can handle without all this grandiose promises of Heaven. Ever notice how “poor” Buddhism is compared to Christianity and Islam? No Heaven of wealth and 29 virgins for anybody. Just a something on your back to keep you warm when the sun goes down.

All right. I think that’s enough trouble for me commenting on all this. But now you at least have an idea on where I stand on all of this stuff. Now you also know why I didn’t choose to include this in my Perspectives poem collection self-published in 2001.


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