Posts Tagged ‘death’

Do you think the Earth has a gravekeeper?
An elderly man worked to the bone,
Not truly living himself,
A retainer of Father Time,
Caked in mud of prehistory,

Tending to markers of civilisations that have fallen,
The graves of cultures rotting,
Peoples long past,
Traditions preserved in dirt and amber,
Their stories insulated against times decay,

He is a curator of memories,
Propagator of the ways of peoples of eld,
Pyramids and ruins and spires,
Egypt and Inca and Cree,
Among others these graves will not vanish into dust,

Whether lost to famine or conquest,
Plague or assimilation,
Old flames will be kept alive,
Flowers will bloom upon their epitaphs,
For all to remember and learn,

Our gravekeeper digs evermore,
His shovel groans in earnest,
All cultures fall to the grind of time,
All empires collapse,
Our western culture indeed has a grave waiting cleared.

Aloft I hold this charred skull,
In the parlance of Hamlet,
Mocking the heavens,
Eye to eye,
Ocular to cavity,
Azure to dark void,
A hateful grimace grows across my face,

I feel the desire to interrogate this spectre,
Of inevitability,
Of decay,
Of entropy,
Of black veils and autopsies,
The unwanted rest and ones left behind,
Of an end like a runaway train,

I hate all of it,
I hate you death,
I resent the fires of hell,
And the zephyrs of heaven,
I hate your wielder of the scythe,
I hate that you force this rot upon us,
I hate that this all ends,

In the laconic gloom,
I swear the skull grinned back.

Do you hear the sobbing?
Hades and the Reaper sit side-by-side,
Mourning,
But not for their expired charges,
But for their assumed roles as villains,
As monsters,

Among a garden of grey roses,
Huddled betwixt souls in repose,
Beside the Styx,
Thrust there by cruel circumstance,
One guides the dead to finally rest,
The other acts as caretaker and guardian,

And what do they receive for their service?
Fear,
The unerring terror of death,
They too prisoners of fates hand,
Hades laments his own torment,
Head in hands,

Their very purpose likened to evil,
But it’s a lie borne of fear,
Death is merely another step,
And its agents merely accessories to this end,
They reap no love though,
They merit pity not dread.

There will come a dark day,
As the candles grow delicate,
And your body finally feels lifes gravity,
When you must solemnly discuss,
With your kin and comrades,
About which kind of death you wish,
Ordained is the schedule,
But not so the modus operandi,

Do you run and yell impotently?
And be torn from the mortal coil by scythes force?
Do you have your time stolen by plague or happenstance?
And need to be carried beyond the styx by lifeless hands?
Or do you meet him calmly at your windowpane,
Take his cold hand and expire to the night?
These things must be prepared for,
Death is always approaching,

But will it be as a nightmare or old friend?
An ordeal or a release?

Such childhood dreams I remember,
Of artwork and vividity,
Smiles were the way,
But then the conveyer belt fired up,
Careening me through a decided life,

It appears to this dreary soul,
That a lifes worth,
Such as it is,
Is merely based upon ones employment,
Dollar and stirling signs,

To contribute is just of course,
But life is not purely about what you can give,
In terms of finance,
We should follow Euphrosyne,
Not remain serfs to Plutus,

You are what you earn,
Does a bad back,
And a full pension,
Mean a life fulfilled?
Should respect be dependent on vocation?

We live to work,
And work to live,
But what about the end?
Will I too have to build my coffin?
Dig my own grave?

As I lay incapacitated,
Upon this grassy knoll,
My shoulder and lung run through,
By barb of crossbow bolt,
I spy my Lady-General,

A maiden of war,
This carnage is her dance,
Dashing from dance partner after dance partner,
Bestowing upon them crimson terminal flourishes,
Spewing ribbons and pyrotechnics to applause of screams,

This theatre,
Spanning over ruined meadows,
With fire and arrows overhead,
A charnel drama,
Host to my Ladys baneful ballet,

Chinks in mail,
Gaps in plate,
All find spots for her blades,
She leads the way,
Bringing the wardance to the enemy,

Morosely she kneels at my side,
“We are War”,
“But your dance is over”,
Wistfully pecking me farewell,
I fade into the abyss.

The smith sweats,
An armsworker,
Doing the work of shinigami,
Machining thanatos into steel,
Ore becomes death,

A masterwork,
An emotionless tool,
A cold weapon,
A true lifetaker,
A stygian masterpiece,

Harnessing thunder and hellfire,
The power of hades,
The power to take lives,
In one hand or two,
Exerting ones will through iron,

Stocks and smoking barrels,
Breathing fire and ash,
Charon on a bullet,
A life snuffed out,
The gunsmiths work complete,

Can he claim neutrality?
Does this artisan care whose life is ended?
Does this merchant burden himself with ethics?
Does this artist care how his art is wielded?
Is the dollar worth more than a life?

What went through your mind,
In those terminal moments?
As control was lost,
As the tyres cursed the road,
Before the impact,

Was it your family?
Your soon-to-be tearful spouse?
The little ones left behind?
All those holidays you’ll miss,
That place at the table nobody speaks of,

Or was it that last drink?
The sweetest of the evening,
The one your friends proposed,
The one nobody stopped you gulping,
Your conscience included,

Was it how you’d be if you made it?
The changes you’d make,
You’d get that new job,
Stop seeing that other woman,
Stop getting bags from that bad man,

As the vehicle careens,
It leaves tyre tracks,
Not only of obsidian rubber,
But also of a life of mistakes,
A car wreck of a life.

Life slips away,
So begins the last rites,
There’s no end to the ceremonies,

Cleanse the dead,
Wash away the sins and victories,
The cloth wipes away any humanity left,

Dress the dead,
Hide the scars we all made,
With a stately red tie,

Serenade the dead,
Tell lies and fake anecdotes,
Pretend you didn’t abandon them,

Bury the dead,
Hide it from our eyes,
Let us not see its white skin innocence,

Drink to the dead,
The rum and revelry shine on,
Heartache becomes headache,

Forget the dead,
Let them travel to the styx,
Onwards to the next one.

I once knew a vibrant soul,
A beautiful friend to all,
A wife and parent,
A mother bear,
A woman of boundless love,

We were not privy to her whole life,
But she exuded love and peace,
She supported so many of us,
Helped shoulder our mental weights,
Fondly indefatigable,

She left us,
Perhaps for a greater purpose,
Perhaps needed elsewhere,
To join the cosmic bulwark,
Against the evils of the universe,

She was a humble shieldmaiden,
But now she’s a valkyrie,
An ascended warrior,
A heroine of legend,
Rest in Valhalla my friend.