Life, as we know it,
Isn't worth the effort.
So why do we bother?

Why do we get up in the morning?
Why do we go to work?
Pick up the phone and talk to mother?

We are creatures of habit,
And those habits are formed
In the resistance against oblivion.

We subject ourselves
To the rigours of daily life
In order to out run it.

We try to stay one step ahead,
One heartbeat in front,
One hair's breadth from death.

We'll do anything to avoid
Plummeting into the void,
Into untaught doom.

For what would death bring us?
Would we be in a paradise
Or condemned to eternal hell?

Maybe all we get do
Is choose between
Purgatory or the Fire.

Become an aimless, listless spirit,
Willowing in formless mist
Trying to figure out what went wrong.

Or burn in the oily slicks
Of the abyss, bubbling
And melting interminably.

I'll stick, thanks...
I'll hang out hard
And take the pain of life

Over the nothingness of death.
Pain I suffer now is nothing
To the torture of the unknown.

So, I, like the rest of us,
Suffer onward through the gloom of life
Feeling my way down the edges.

I'll shuffle reluctantly to death.
I'll take living in pain
To the pain in the absence of living.

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Russian composer, died on this day in 1893.

Sally Field, American actress, was born today in 1946.

7 Comments Add yours

  1. ellenbest24 says:

    No place to rest after this,
    No husbands love,
    Or womanly bliss.
    Best make the best
    Of the one that is,
    The here the now
    The hope and hiss.
    The sky is often blue,
    There is food on fork
    and sole on shoe .
    So, if who we are now,
    It is all there is.
    Wear a smile,
    and blow a kiss.

  2. tara caribou says:

    Tchaikovsky, as it happens, is my very favorite composer (though that has nothing to do with your poetry!)

    1. Thanks for your comment!
      Interestingly, Tchaikovsky wrote an Overture-Fantasia and incidental music that was inspired by William Shakespeare’s Hamlet. I noticed the link when researching the compose and this poem is directly inspired by Hamlet’s “to be or not to be” soliloquy.

      1. tara caribou says:

        Huh. I knew of the Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture, but the Overture Fantasia isn’t striking any associations in my mind. I will have to look it up. Thank you.

  3. lynn__ says:

    Hi Nathan! Thanks for the “follow” 🙂 I like how your poem wrestles with our natural fear of death. As a Christian, I believe there is life after death and God offers us paradise through faith in his Son, Jesus. Life can be tough but there is hope that we will escape the fire!

  4. Morose philosophy that definitely mirrors some of my own thoughts and feelings.

  5. -Eugenia says:

    Hi Nathan! Thank you for following BrewNSpew. 😉

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