Michael L. Newell
I am a retired secondary school English/Theatre teacher. I have spent one third of my life as an expatriate (13 countries on five continents). I now live on the Oregon coast.
Let Me Know When It's Time
(for Anthere Rutikanga)
Sooner than we ever know,
it is over. Nothing remains,
no laughter, no song, no air
shaped by our lungs.
All all all vanishes. A few people
may remember for a brief time our names
and a phrase or two we uttered, or a smile
we provoked with some shenanigan
which seemed unimportant
but is all that is left until even
those who remember the event
have faded and crumbled
as completely as flowers crushed
between the pages of a favorite book
which itself disengages page by page
from the busy world blindly roaring past.
So I invite you to join me in boisterous
renditions of the old Irish song,
"The longer you live, the sooner you bloody
well die." Shout it from the diaphragm
without regret or sorrow or angst,
but articulate the words with full-throated
glee, with a passion for the days left
which are to be consumed with the delight
of a gourmet for his newest discovery,
or the uninhibited energy of a child racing
through fields with wind streaming through
his hair and into his greedy lungs.
Life life life life is the chant for as long
as we last; when it passes, it passes,
but for now mock the ruthless reaper
with a grin and a joyous song.
Kigali, Rwanda, May 2012
©2017 Michael L. Newell
Editor's Note: If this poem(s) moves you please consider writing to the author (email address above) to tell him or her. You might say what it is about the poem that moves you. Writing to the author is the beginning of community at Verse Virtual. It is very important. -FF