I hope readers will enjoy this oddly upbeat, rhymed poem about
death that has
mocking its subject. The poem is written in what is hopefully a popular
style, but gets down to serious poetic business toward the end. Some may wonder if, in
should make fun
of death this way. The answer is very definitely yes since it is a way of symbolically mastering it.
Of course, the mastery is only symbolic,
which accounts for many of the strengths and limitations of literature, and the
tragedy of life.
Things To Do While Waiting
by Ken Sanes
Here are some things we can do with our lives
before our departure inevitably arrives:
we can ask the world to be more humane
or learn to talk witty, clever, urbane;
we can think a lot about all kinds of sex --
locations, positions, revenge on the ex --
or keep pumping iron to pump up our pecs;
we can chase after money until we get rich
or hide in a comfortable, anonymous niche.
We can even try to live on in our writing
by being extensively quoted and read
but, whatever we do in the course of our life,
our sad common end is we end up dead.
We can gorge on ice cream and apple pie
and try to forget that someday we’ll die;
we can flex and admire ourselves in a mirror
or be a subway creep who keeps getting nearer;
we can save lots of puppies with floppy ears
and clumsy paws and sad pleading eyes,
but the truth about life in this veil of tears
is that everything living meets its demise.
And even when things are really first rate,
we instinctively know that it’s already late
because the clock is set at a minute to midnight
and each minute edges us closer to fate --
and eyeing the clock with a hint of alarm
still won’t stop us from buying the farm.
So take pleasure in living, enjoy while you can,
because nothing is going according to plan.
And when you finally fall into all of that nothing,
it won’t even rise to the blankness of stone.
That is the calamity each of us faces,
and each of us is forced to face alone.
You are welcome to send me an email to
letters at kensanes.com
Copyright © 2010-2013 Ken Sanes