Tuesday, June 19, 2012

And Death Shall Have Dominion

Half a life lived
perhaps time to mourn the living
an old father, weakened, hairy-eared, a soup splattered beard
wearied by the disease and death of yet another old dog
so make time count
an ex girlfriend says
your father's not a spring chicken any more
his death, a flimsy film
separating his death
from mine

every moment
a moment wasted
every moment
yet innumerable
yet limited
beside the infinity of death

every moment
a moment promised
every moment
a moment cherished
yet a lover quits
with black tears and blotted cheeks
begs friendship
rather than love
to endure life
but not to enjoy it

no God
no heaven
just the dull, vivid clockwork of the universe
the intricate, bold, mathematics of it
a zero sum game
all the lessons learned
the sports
the walks [the wounds]
the sights
the smells
the clanging sounds
the dozens learned and lost

to the worms
the birds
the crows
the heartless stars
the cold sun
the ice of the morning
the tasteless soil

the moon
and the supermoon
the rain
and the rainbows
the sweep of seasons that sweep no more
the great tide of tides
that rise and fall no more
the quake
the blast
the stampeding mob
the books, the verses
all vain, against the press of time

life is but a memory
ineffectual, powerful
and yet powerless as a dream
easily forgotten
easily lost in the aromas and flavours and fabrics of yet another morning
a morning that could be the last
the last taste of orange juice
the last sip of water
the last sting of bacon spit shooting off the pan
the last sight of a green leaf or the shimmer of a polished doorknob

the newspapers may echo
the news
a car crash, a murder, a fall from a mountaintop
victims - a reporter writes
as though there was no pain
as though losing a life is like losing money
no desperate, furtive, harrowing to hang on to life
the clawing of fingernails into the knots of a carpet, or the knots of a table
the horror of it all slipping away
unheralded, ungreeted, unanticipated
all the terrified screams
the [un]closure
the slow gush, the stew, the slick
of blood
into the ultimate bankruptcy of the living

at the end of it all
possessions gained and lost
at the end of it all
fitness and sinew unravelled, cut and dried
at the end of it all
all lost
everything asunder
for one and all
without exception

maybe books (diaries, articles, letters, birthday cards)
or children
or scratches on a bedpost
may outlive us
but after the last heartbeat
for there is no soul
just the wish of such a thing
and no heaven
just the ancient worship of the sun
and I,
and the universe
all of this from nothing
and now back

to black.

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