Death and I

Death and I

What is life?

A hollow tomorrow, as today is of the day before

Death however, a decaying reminiscence

Its touch, a long lasting impression

“Live as if you’ll die tomorrow”

Advice I took to heart all along

Precariously I lived, erratic indeed, whimsical in thoughts

Unpredictable, capricious I was

Sometimes I wondered

Which tomorrow I would die?

Years passed, I grew older

My back curved a little, hearing loss

Reading glasses, trickles in middle of the night

Oh God! I thought, the golden years arrived.

The conditional clause “IF” in the phrase

“Live as IF you’ll die tomorrow.”

Is on the verge of redaction

From the last chapter of life

Losing relevance to the text it once revived

Divine retribution, final revenge

The fang of death clawed my thoughts

Haunted I was by a rasping instinct

Sooner than later I would not be alive.

The horror of oblivion, dread of nothingness

Morphed into an eerie allure,

Peculiar temptation to explore death, my nemesis.

The ominous bird of fantasy

Soared in the dark of reverie

To touch the void, what was forbidden to see

I wrote the abyss, mocked its shadow

Praised the mystery, scorned its malice

A yearn of intuition, a magical vision to follow.

One night, as I delved into the trance, death appeared to me

Then it was everywhere to keep me company

I shared with death some anecdotes

And it revealed to me so many more.

Tales of the other side I found grim and horrific yet,

Fascinating to hear, so captivated I was.

Oh! Death knows a lot, it has seen it all.

Death is resourceful, crafty and shrewd

Callous and merciless too

But in all fairness,

Not as awful as I thought.

Death has a sense of humor

That I don’t care for at all

Once it said and I quote

“Life is a maybe, death is for sure.”

The wisdom I praised, the tone, the morbid smirk turned me off.

Death has its own quirks,

Has a softer side, one needs to realize

As ironic as it is, death appreciates art

Because it knows

One by the virtue of creation will never die.

Based on our shared instinct for survival

Death and I reached an agreement,

A sordid affair, tacit accord

I don’t vilify death in poetry and prose

In any way, shape or form.

No cheap innuendo, cliché symbolism,

Constant whining, alamode noir.

No murky imagery on canvas,

Gloomy birds fly in the dark.

I pledged to show more respect

To destiny, the kismet, that’s coming about

Bottom line, I play along.

In lieu of this courtesy

Death would let me live,

So long as I create art.

Contract was binding on one principle alone

Live forever through art or simply die!

We also agreed as follows:

The makeup of life, essence of existence

Pleasure and pain; sorrow and delight

Hope, despair, wishes, desire

Are only mine to decide.

As peculiar as it is to say

Death is bliss, an inspiration,

Since it gives true sense,

Meaning and direction

To my very life.