I heard him, on the radio;
soap-star, icon of the nation,
talk of his belief in reincarnation.
Over fifty years a central character
in the soap-opera beloved
by the nation.
In his eighties, now, but looks
thirty years younger.
He must know his onions;
not the sort to make a blunder.
“Of course I believe in it” he said,
to his doubting inquisitor.
“After all, it’s the only way
it all makes sense.”
And, for a brief moment,
I understood what he meant.
That our lives are not freely given;
our lives are merely lent
to us, like books; on loan,
from God the librarian.
And who knows what could happen,
what could befall those books?
They could be lost, forgotten,
accidentally dropped in the bath.
And what happens then?
A measure of fairness, surely;
there must be some recompense.
For, after all, it’s the only way
it all makes sense.
British actor William Roache is famous for playing the part of Ken Barlow in Coronation Street, which is the most popular soap-opera on British television. He is the only actor who has remained in the series from the very first episode, in December 1960. I happened to hear an interview with him on the radio, a while ago, in which he discussed his belief in reincarnation. What particularly struck me was the calm, matter-of-fact way he said that anyone with common sense should realise that reincarnation was “the only thing that made sense of it all”. I have recently become aware of the fact that William Roache is quite notorious for holding some rather outlandish beliefs, but, at the time I heard the interview, I just thought of him as quite an intelligent, articulate individual. Of course, it would be nice if everything to do with “Life, the universe, and everything” did make sense. I have a sneaking suspicion, however, that, unfortunately, it doesn’t.