The Awful Brevity of Life and Levity of Death
January 19, 2014
I wrote this poem sometime around 96/97. I was very influenced by a certain poet by the name of Robert Browning. Still think he’s one of the best.
Can I tell you of a time, a time when death’s unknown?
Do you love me? Yes? And do you love me still?
Need love wear such a face? Mine’s uncovered – what disgrace!
Yet one among you painted plums, the straw-fire flared and funked,
‘Pray, madam, why so weary, why the pallor grey and blue?
‘Come now, grandma,’ I retorted, and she got it off her chest:
“Of the awful brevity of life and levity of” – God,
So we singly sat and dallied, paused and pondered, thought awhile,
I have no time for humans (plural), there was but ever one,
Since then I can’t even look upon – so sweet and chaste
Supposing, then, the best thing God invented,
Hope, fear, sorrow, joy? Who is it, out of you, can’t say they’ve been so stern
Zooks, have I fallen asleep among the bowl of fruits, my plummy face absurd?
‘My boy, you’re not a boy no more, so save your shallow breath.
‘With the awful brevity of life and levity of death,