Commentary and Philosophy Poetry posted November 1, 2017


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some thoughts on greeting new life

Welcome to our Planet

by Mark Valentine

Welcome to the world my son
On this your day of birth!
So many things to see and do
In your short time on earth.
You’ll grow, you’ll learn, you’ll play, make friends,
You’ll spread your wings and fly.
You’ll love and work and dream and do --
And then one day you’ll die.
 
There’s awesome beauty in this world
That seems to make life whole.
Symphonies and sunsets,
Will arrest and stir your soul.
Some nights you’ll sit in reverence,
Beneath a star-filled sky.
And also, (did I mention this?),
One day you’re gonna die.
 
I wonder what career you’ll choose
To guide you on your journey.
Doctor? Poet? Athlete? Chef?
Professor or Attorney?
I’m sure you’ll be successful
At whichever craft you ply.
Just know when all is said and done,
You’re gonna freakin’ die.
  
Perhaps one day you’ll meet a girl
And take her as your wife.
You’ll find that having children is
The sweetest part of life.
You’ll watch them grow and be amazed
How quickly time goes by.
Enjoy it while you can because
One day you’re gonna die.
 
Your heart will stop, your brain waves cease,
When life comes to its close.
They’ll bury you beneath some dirt,
And there you’ll decompose.
So that’s your fate – there’s no escape,
No matter how you try.
Though you won’t know the time or place
Be certain – you WILL die.
 
You might die in a hundred years,
Or you might die tonight.
Might welcome, or might rage against,
The dying of the light.
Your end may come from giant blast
Or microscopic germs.
Either way, it’s all the same --
You wind up food for worms.
  
But you should know this whole death thing
Applies not just to you.
Everyone you’ll ever meet
Will one day perish too.
Some will live a century,
And some will die much younger.
The rich will die as certainly
As those who die of hunger.
 
The good, the bad, the beautiful,
The mighty and the meek,
Their destinies all end in dust,
In that, no-one’s unique.
This fact is irrefutable:
Everybody dies.
You’d think that that one fact alone
Would make us realize,
That all of us are wayfarers
Who sail this sea together.
Our common home, this small blue ship
That’s tempest-tossed by weather.
 
Given we all know this, then,
How can it be the case
That we don’t look with loving eyes
Upon another’s face?
That we don’t choose to promulgate
Compassion, love, and kindness?
That we don’t choose to light the path
For those who walk in blindness?
 
How can it be we spend our time
And energies on war?
And, knowing that we’re going to die,
Not stop to ask “What for?”
I wonder if folks have this thought
When their life’s end draws nigh:
“I would have done things diff’rent
Had I known that I would die.”
 
Absurd, perhaps, to talk of death
When your life’s just begun.
But as you start your journey,
You should just know this, my son:
In the end it’s love that counts,
So give it your best try,
Not in spite of, but because,
One day you’re gonna die.

 


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© Copyright 2017. Mark Valentine All rights reserved.
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