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Friday, 13 September 2013

How do I prepare for death?


(Not to read too much into this.)


How do I prepare for death?
I asked a wise man long ago.
You don't, my son,
the wise man said:
Let Death prepare for you.

Her laundered sheets
and candle lights
or spring flowers round the bed
will take you back
to early days...
How bright the vision then!
How clear the way ahead!

She'll sweep the house
of all those fears
accrued along the way:
the frights that have no form.
Not dreads of death,
but worse than those:
to not exist;
the aweful void.

Such terrors follow the more solid ones,
those obstacles the world threw up
to make you doubt or start again,
to hesitate.
Each in their turn depart.

(Always the optimist, I hope to be around a little more hereon than just recently.)

60 comments:

David Cranmer said...

You're only middle age, Dave. Lots of poems to go.

Mary said...

Dave, I really like the philosophy expressed in this poem...that we don't need to prepare for death, as death will prepare for us. I do think that when a person DOES reach that time when he/ she is to die many times they have reached that peaceful time you have written about, that time when all terrors depart, and the vision of AHEAD is clear.

Really, this is a good, good poem!!

I was just talking to my minister recently about such matters, and she said that she herself continues to pray for COURAGE to face all that is ahead. I take that prayer for myself now as well.

Really glad to see a poem from you this morning, Dave, and to read of your more optimistic outlook!

Michelle Wallace said...

These words came to mind: Death comes like a thief in the night...
Great poem.
Writer In Transit

jabblog said...

A peaceful acceptance of the inevitable is something to strive towards, not to give in to it but not to struggle against it.

hyperCRYPTICal said...

Great poem indeed Dave and much wisdom there.

Hope you will be around a little more often too and hope the treatment was not to uncomfortable.

Kind regards
Anna :o]

The Weaver of Grass said...

Yes I have missed you too Dave - but proves with this poem that you have not lost your touch.

Helen said...

Dave, your poetry is so full of depth and wisdom, I ache reading it. (a good thing)


Rachna Chhabria said...

Hi Dave, great poem though a morbid theme. In Hindu philosophy we believe that death does not come to us but rather we go to it (it pulls us into its womb).

Cloudia said...

Wise, accessible.

Cool seeing you today, Dave


Aloha:-)

L. Edgar Otto said...

Dave... how enduring this facing our ultimate concerns, that while the poems are with us for a little while the universe prepares our hearts.

So to we imagine voids in the black hole of our chambered hearts as far as the flow inside bursting full or empty.

There we do not need to dream or rest as long as our specks of light yearns yet wearies of cycles, seasons.

Perhaps the optimistic yet mournful poetry meets the hint of spirits without substance, lost books that did not make it into the Bible.

The scriptures loops and retold in dance of merging memories and metaphors... like that great thought, riding on sheets and other earthly precious simple things

Sadder yet to we as forgotten dreams and unrequited hopes that end

That our life and love may as well have never been...

In such matters we word shamans of
visions unexpected in the tricks and magic... know the truth and see it in a birth and burst of light as best we can our pictures paint with no between the lines of our shared canvass.

Dave, I have had time of a thousand words a day knowing not all are the best, but someone of you heights I am sure you know which are the rarest...

But I did not mean to wax poetic, some inspiration and influence, some feast hard fought for brought up from the sea for us downy helpless squabs - even if I had not found this today of you, my gleaning for words hands would have searched for a pen so follow along with you.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

I love seeing your poem here today, Dave, and I have been investigating my own philosophy about death. Everything I have read, from those who have had near death experiences, is positive, peaceful and they express a feeling of enormous well being acceptance and pure love. I love your lines about Death sweeping all fear away. Cool image!

Like you, I hope we both are around a while yet, as we both have many more poems to write!

Elephant's Child said...

Great poem - leaving me thinking. And welcome back.

Brian Miller said...

when my time comes i will dance with it...i am sure it will find me as it does all of us....and no sense me trying to guess when that is...but live in the mean time...smiles. good to see you dave...

kaykuala said...

Nice poem Dave! Nicely!

Hank

Carl said...

I pondered this one for a while last night. You poems always make me think.

Carl said...

I pondered this one for a while last night. You poems always make me think.

Jenny Woolf said...

Wonderful poem, Dave. There is all the difference between thinking how something is inevitable, and knowing it is. But it is, for all of us.

Ygraine said...

We need many more positive poems like yours on this subject, Dave...this one is so uplifting.

In Druidic philosophy we believe that death is no more than a turning of the spiral, a return to our true home where The Ancestors wait at the threshold to greet us.

Personally, I do not fear death...just the pain that often accompanies it's transition...

I have a young friend, 19 years old, who has just been diagnosed with cancer...I will ask him to read this. I think it will really help him.
Thank you so much for sharing this, Dave.:)

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

What a powerful, crystal clear message in this poem and always in a great tradition, this time echoes from John Donne give your lines the wider scope they deserve.
All my best wishes David and, once more, welcome back, I was eargerly waiting for a new post in your blog.

A Cuban In London said...

I agree with the first poster. Here's to many more fine poems like this one. You did freak me out, though, before I read your disclaimer! :-)

Greetings from London.

Grace said...

Let Death prepare for you. - I like your optimistic philosophy towards death Dave ~ I hope I will have the same mind and heart to give in gracefully ~ Wishing you well in your journey ~

manicddaily said...

Such an insightful interesting poem, Dave. I do think that part of illness is letting go of the here-- and that I guess is death preparing for us - a really very profound way to look at it. I do hope you are feeling better.

Take care, k.

gabriellaswritingcorner said...

I like your poem Dave.
"She'll sweep the house
of all those fears
accrued along the way" - are very beautiful lines.

Cait O'Connor said...

We are all terminal cases aren't we, from the moment of our birth. Enjoy each moment that is all we can and should do, a cliche but a true one. And I agree with David C - you have many, many more poems to go.

Steve King said...

Wisdom, balance and serenity. There was a time I wouldn't have felt this the way you intended; but I'm glad to read it now. Fine work. Stay strong, David.

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liv2write2day said...

Read this after David's death makes for such a powerful, thought-provoking read. Thank you David, for all you've shared.

Lydia said...

How beautiful this was. How prescient. Dave was perhaps a mystic.

dragyonfly said...

This is hauntingly beautiful and so rich and full...How brave he was, facing down death with pen in hand. I read Dave's poems after he died, and wish I had read them sooner..but this one is so special. After you have a chance to grive, sir, you should have this one immortalized in End of Life texts as a Memorial to Dave. Just beautiful...Thank you so much for sharing...

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