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.