Am I next? Am I the next one to go?
The deaths recently of people I know.
A cliff edge there. And beyond is below.
Me then, up here, will be nowhere on show.
It is fate, of course. Inevitable.
That at some point be my turn be next.
The loss I face then, inestimable.
Not outside it; my direct interest.
I am saddened. Feel saddened and bereft.
Not superficial self-pity. Deeper.
Advance grief. Nothing of me will be left.
I cannot swerve meeting the grim reaper.
So, for this shock ahead I have sorrow.
I know it will be my turn tomorrow.
One day there will be no awakening.
I have seen this be the case for others.
Becomes so the undertaking begins.
Once this paralysed, never recovers.
Be as if perpetually frozen.
Communication means disembodied.
Secret, inevitably unspoken.
Eerily resembles fully at ease.
But not concluded with a jumping up;
With an acknowledgement like “good morning”.
“I’ve had a good sleep, now I’m getting up.”
Won’t say what dreams, at that time, were forming.
No more awakening for this body.
The routine of arising will not be.
At least won’t see what a mess I become.
Will be, from before then, totally blind.
Not be identified as anyone.
Just in old photographs, my look enshrined.
And I won’t have access to a mirror.
If I did, be unable to use it.
Yet, being transformed, could not be clearer.
Involuntary, even when choose it.
Disappearance of observable skin.
Also decayed, the organs that within.
Not be any part of me, here within.
Only eternity inhabiting.
I know now, I would just see skull and bone.
Can barely imagine that they’re my own.
Remains are there in this burial ground.
They are all that remain of past people.
Their names, that’s all, if you look, will be found.
Who they were, in person, beyond recall.
Collapsed bare bones, and those crumbling to dust
Finished with, so put away forever.
Death of everybody. Come it must,
ending each solitary endeavour.
I remain in place for the time being,
Walking on the ground and tasting the air.
If could see through, the future be seeing,
regardless of disposal, how and where.
And whatever remains, I will not be.
My name somewhere, but nothing left of me.
These are famous people who get snuffed out.
Day after day, another goes for good.
What the hell is this menace all about?
No protection being in Hollywood,
or holed-up in some luxury mansion.
The reaper comes when the time-limit’s reached.
Stardom’s no saviour, the person’s all done.
Can’t stay on even if God is beseeched.
No respecter of fame or importance,
the destroyer implements what it must.
Overwhelms every inner defence.
Unstoppable in its deadly purpose.
Think can ‘overcome’ or there’s redemption
in our tales, but there’s only affection.
The great man is dead. His life is over.
The poet; the singer; exceptional.
His wonderful songs will carry over.
This, deservedly inevitable.
The very personal words which he chose.
The sincere sentiments which he expressed.
Distinct and significant to disclose.
Many millions, who heard them, were impressed.
I am sorry I cannot do justice
to the beauty and feeling he creates
in verse after verse he makes to exist.
It is Love which he captures and, then, states.
So many fine songs. Now, bird off the wire.
Flown away, the great singer-songwriter.
It is how I feel about life and death;
that it’s a breathing, sentient bubble,
then pop, it’s gone, obsolete. No more breath.
Physicality, then no more trouble.
No more of anything, absolutely.
Thoughts that could be other, extraneous.
Widely believed, such incredulity.
Just whilst living, contemporaneous.
But when don’t survive, then do not exist.
What comprised of, ruthlessly broken-down.
Physically, there’s no residual twist,
other than into minute speck of ground.
The bubble floats, in its way, unrehearsed.
Then, I think, is no more, after the burst.
One time you’re here as always, then you’re not.
Inevitable, although it seems not.
In the midst of concerns, then lost the plot.
All of those, and you too, will be forgot.
Just a ‘was’ when it is done; a ‘has been’.
Could it have been some unusual dream.
To this extent, takes some imagining.
But not by us when we’re no longer seen.
Our time will be past, indubitably.
Likely, some stage, intense anxiety,
as realise unsuitability.
And from that, find oneself denied to be.
It is such a dreadful situation
to succumb to dehumanisation.
Then, it’s done. Then, it’s finished. Then, no more.
And, of course, then it will be personal.
Then there’s the oblivion to endure,
which, now, think fearful and inimical.
I have to accept I am not immune.
A switching-off is inevitable.
Nothing will be evermore, I assume.
Existence, then, be irretrievable.
And so it goes into eternity.
Then, it is nothing more than nothing more.
Determined from death, this blank destiny.
Extermination of me, making sure.
Thereby dislodged from all formal knowing.
From then on, only my absence showing.
Ice packs, … frozen peas …, on the abdomen.
A scarf under the jaw, tied as a sling
Coins on eyelids to close. It’s not meddling.
Caring acts after death, hereby begin.
Coins, then, removed. Avoids indentation.
And the sling as well, once the jaw tightened.
Keep in cool and peaceful situation.
Dead body in the house need not frighten.
Washing and cleaning, and brushing the hair.
Dress in clothes which would be comfortable.
Sadness, of course, whenever see is there.
Still now, but the times of love to recall.
Until service of goodbye, and disposed,
like being laid in state, home, in repose.
Strange arrangement; this life followed by death.
Bizarre, and to an extent, horrendous.
Dependant on, amongst other things, breath.
Existing, most would say, is tremendous.
But only if not intolerable;
if there is the prospect of happiness;
if can put up with whatever the rule;
find something that can truly interest.
A lot about life that is wonderful.
Having a unique perspective on it.
Like seeing in the light, a miracle
Opportunity to think upon it.
Can’t describe the peculiarity.
Then there’s death, with no similarity.
I understand it’s going to happen.
Suddenly I’ll be on my last knockings.
Ominous. Obvious, near to the end
The dying process, find myself locked in.
Too late, then, to undertake corrections.
Wishes won’t be for me to implement.
Maybe, in the haze, some last reflections,
but my going, find I cannot prevent.
Rough, with pain more than able to endure.
Perhaps it will be alleviated,
but with a dose to put me down for sure.
Head, for a moment, inebriated.
And then to sleep, but not to dream or think,
but to go over, from there on the brink.
The wait, a patient one, for the passing.
So close; this next night or one very soon.
We know, beyond that, will not be lasting.
Then, a loss in ours when life does resume.
Time is short before the utter sadness,
when feel as if punched and winded by it.
The emptiness that accompanies this,
when told “dead” at the very end of it.
An emotional draining, consequent.
Tears, that no more the unique company.
Exhaustion, at what, by this, ‘ truly meant.
That face alive, will no more ever see.
Started on this, expecting it to come.
Since been told, that that is it. It is done.
I’m stuck in this body until nothing.
Without function, will be a shell, a husk.
Breathing, sensing, thinking, not for lasting.
When am no use, disposal will be brusque.
And I will still be within. Nowhere else.
Just, ‘I’ will have finished its sentience.
Not know anything, even of itself.
Dead to the world. With life, the difference.
Life is this fortunate combination.
Pulsing, multi-activity in skin.
Capable of identification.
But, when the brain’s dead there’s no mattering.
Bubble deflated to completely flat.
Once ‘what in’ dispersed, it doesn’t come back.
It is a strange conundrum, life and death.
Can’t work out what each is, essentially,
although knowledge of them seems on the breath.
I’m sure there’s answers intelligently.
But, is there a parity between them?
A compatibility between them?
Why do each occur and through time extend?
Once they start, what is it that matters then?
Seems a puzzle that’s unanswerable,
especially when lack intelligence.
But I’d say, at a glance, they’re integral,
and together there is a relevance.
Yet, I’m unable to solve the riddle.
Before move on, simply hope a little.
Incineration. Whoosh! And that’s me gone.
Incendiary moment, the flames savour.
Lick the wood and my body. Won’t be long
until smouldering ash, the remainder.
And then nothing but a burnt offering
which, when cold, can be vased, to spread somewhere.
On earth or water, the place altering
minutely; then gone as if to thin air.
Wow! That’s disintegration imagined.
Will happen, but not be experienced.
Will not feel, in any way, impassioned
as not be sentient interference.
This, for my personal information.
My Mind and forms fate, incineration.
Could say putrefaction’s purifying.
Thought of that fate, more like petrifying.
For most creatures, there is no denying,
will go through, in death where they are lying.
Case can be made that purification.
Helps dispose of, with determination.
Dead bodies set sure for degradation.
This way ‘cleansing’, by elimination.
No trace above, where the living reside,
aim of the natural process, implied.
Gets on with it, once the body has died.
Disintegrates both outside and inside.
Or, looked at another way, integrates
with earth and more. By rotting, flesh death takes.
At the famous Unitarian Church,
on the flower beds in the public grounds.
Below wooded site. Not here beech or birch.
Heavy streaks of grey dust. Almost in mounds.
It’s human ash that’s been carelessly strewn.
Must have been more than caster expected.
Therefore shown as remains, one can assume.
Consequence of death hereby detected.
Inappropriate to be on display.
More reasonable if had been discrete.
Higher-up, under trees, to spread away.
Even thinly by graves, be no deceit.
But inconsiderate where disposed of.
Gardener ashen, confronted by the stuff.