Death

Immolated insolence

We’re all old…

getting older.

Somehow

youth knows this

but is unaffected.

This myopia

lasts a long time,

but ultimately

yields

in a rending blow

across the bow,

sending a panic

through long-aching

bones.

It was never a secret,

it was well known

and well ignored

(long guarded

and feared).

Now it grips the soul

in a deaths embrace

of crushing truth.

Revealed,

in a harsh half-light

of our own illuminating.

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365 notches

One more year
dribbles into the basket.
At this point
it hardly bears noticing.
Really…
my wife had to tell me
that tomorrow
is my birthday.
I would have pretended
to make a fuss,
if I had known…
but I didn’t.
Forty-six,
after all,
isn’t all that notable.
Honestly…
it just becomes
another notch
on a holding-cell wall
(ok,
that might be
a bit maudlin
but I’ve earned it…
and these three whiskeys
are driving the bus
now).
So, light a candle,
sing a song
and pretend you care
(that’s a note
for both you
and I)
for yet another circle of the sun
has occurred.
Sláinte, Mazel tov and all the rest,
and happy birthday for me,
from me
to you.

One more leaf

I watched
as one of autumns leaves
tumbled across the road,
it’s golden silhouette
illuminated in the headlights
of an early morning commute. Thousands still
lie matted to the ground,
wet and turning to pulp.
In the trees overhead
millions more shone
in amber,
gold and green…
turning to browns.
We marvel
at autumns turn,
expressing in awe
our thoughts
on this beauty
born of summers death.
We never do this,
though,
in our daily lives.
Most of us shun death.
My neighbor died,
yesterday.
His people came
to say goodbye.
I have lived next to him
for almost a decade
and I could not be moved
to cross the line
between his yard
and mine.
I had known he was sick,
knew it was fatal,
and I never reached out.
He was turning amber,
gold and green
and I never tried
to find the beauty.
I knew, even as it unfolded,
that this was a failure
within me.
But this morning
one leaf tumbles
and in it
I see the loss.

Mouldering

I am plagued
by repete
sickness.
I am too familiar
with the ins
and outs
of a great many
anti-biotics.
Sinus…
tissue,
lungs…
all have been plundered
by infection.
I would never have made it
in the middle-ages…
they would have buried me,
just to ease
my suffering
and save themselves.
For now
I cough endlessly
and bring up
thick,
dark-green mucus.
It feels
productive.

I know I’m dead

The comedy routine
was pre-recorded,
the comedian
long dead.
The jokes were funny
and so I laughed.
It was odd,
though…
because I knew
he was dead.
He didn’t, though.
He was on tape.
It made me wonder:
Could he have known?
He was doing his thing,
working his craft,
but he was now dead.
We are all
“Doing our things”
and we will all
be dead
eventually.
What do we know
of that?
It’s there a window
to peek through
and see
This eventuality?
It is far too easy
to do so
from this vantage point
in the present
looking back.
But otherwise
impossible.