Ah Death, cold-throated king of impotence,
Robber of powers, lord of the certain peace,
Thou world where we are borne, and all worlds cease,
And all songs end, all cantos and laments—
What leads from thee, dark dominator, whence
No living thing returns? And what increase
Escapes thy belly, or that black-dyed fleece
That spans all bones bereft of skin and sense?
Thou takest all, and none gainsays thy will,
Not king, nor god, nor health, nor youth, nor skill;
Thy maw licks up all lands and loves they’ve sown.
And so I’ve been, and so thou’st treated me,
Ah Death, I’ve left my fairest things to thee!
And now they’re gone, and I’m once more alone.
A word from the poet:
This poem is less about physical death and more about the power which brings all human endeavors to nothing in the end. All civilizations fall; all kings are forgotten; All those whose beauty we admire grow old. Our friends and family die, and at last we follow them. Perhaps it’s right to hope for redress, but mourning the curse of death is also right.
Mr. Martin loves stories and epiphanies, and believes that good poetry expresses humanity’s deepest longings.