Tag Archives: Death

The Day I Die

The day I die

Be it with a Bang

Or more likely, a whimper

I ask only this

Don’t mourn that I am gone

Be happy that I was.


The day I die

Take for the needy

My eyes, my kidneys

My heart and lungs

Take all you can

I won’t need them anymore.


The day I die

Use all the money left

It won’t be much

For every cent saved

Means I worked more

Than I ever needed.


The day I die

Gather all my cronies

Keep a picture of me

And drink to the good times

And times that were bad

When we were together.


The day I die

Laugh and be merry

Celebrate a life

That was complete in every way

The tears that might be shed

Be bittersweet, not sad.


The day I die

Bury what’s left

Plant a tree

Fertilized by me

So what’s left behind

Can flourish and give hope.


The day I die

And you plant the tree

Put it on a hill

With a view of the sky

That’s where we are from

And where we will reach.


The day I die

As I cease to be

Don’t feed lies to kids

About better places

About angels and Gods

Tell them instead, about eternity.


The day I die

Waste not a prayer

Or a breath on sorrow

All I ask, all I need

Look at my tree

And remember me.


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I have never really had enough patience to read and appreciate many poems. But recently, I searched for some of the poems I remember from my school days and was amazed by the amount of meaning they contain. The fact that many of them have been written hundreds of years ago does not diminish their relevance in any way. This is just a short collection of poems I read yesterday. They never cease to amaze me.

Trees by Joyce Kilmer.

I think I shall never see,
A poem lovely as a tree;

A tree whose hungry mouth is pressed,
Against the Earth’s sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in summer wear,
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain,
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

Death the Leveller by J. Shirley

The glories of our blood and state
Are shadows, not substantial things;
There is no armour against fate;
Death lays his icy hand on kings:
Sceptre and crown
Must tumble down,
And in the dust be equal made
With the poor crooked scythe and spade.

Some men with swords may reap the field,
And plant fresh laurels where they kill;
But their strong nerves at last must yield—
They tame but one another still:
Early or late
They stoop to fate,
And must give up their murmuring breath
When they, pale captives, creep to death.

The garlands wither on your brow:
Then boast no more your mighty deeds;
Upon Death’s purple altar now
See where the victor-victim bleeds.
Your heads must come
To the cold tomb:
Only the actions of the just
Smell sweet, and blossom in their dust.

Inchcape Rock by Robert Southley

No stir in the air, no stir in the sea,
The Ship was still as she could be;
Her sails from heaven received no motion,
Her keel was steady in the ocean.

Without either sign or sound of their shock,
The waves flow’d over the Inchcape Rock;
So little they rose, so little they fell,
They did not move the Inchcape Bell.

The Abbot of Aberbrothok
Had placed that bell on the Inchcape Rock;
On a buoy in the storm it floated and swung,
And over the waves its warning rung.

When the Rock was hid by the surge’s swell,
The Mariners heard the warning Bell;
And then they knew the perilous Rock,
And blest the Abbot of Aberbrothok

The Sun in the heaven was shining gay,
All things were joyful on that day;
The sea-birds scream’d as they wheel’d round,
And there was joyaunce in their sound.

The buoy of the Inchcpe Bell was seen
A darker speck on the ocean green;
Sir Ralph the Rover walk’d his deck,
And fix’d his eye on the darker speck.

He felt the cheering power of spring,
It made him whistle, it made him sing;
His heart was mirthful to excess,
But the Rover’s mirth was wickedness.

His eye was on the Inchcape Float;
Quoth he, “My men, put out the boat,
And row me to the Inchcape Rock,
And I’ll plague the Abbot of Aberbrothok.”

The boat is lower’d, the boatmen row,
And to the Inchcape Rock they go;
Sir Ralph bent over from the boat,
And he cut the bell from the Inchcape Float.

Down sank the Bell with a gurgling sound,
The bubbles rose and burst around;
Quoth Sir Ralph, “The next who comes to the Rock,
Won’t bless the Abbot of Aberbrothok.”

Sir ralph the Rover sail’d away,
He scour’d the seas for many a day;
And now grown rich with plunder’d store,
He steers his course for Scotland’s shore.

So thick a haze o’erspreads the sky,
They cannot see the sun on high;
The wind hath blown a gale all day,
At evening it hath died away.

On the deck the Rover takes his stand,
So dark it is they see no land.
Quoth Sir Ralph, “It will be lighter soon,
For there is the dawn of the rising Moon.”

“Canst hear,” said one, “the breakers roar?
For methinks we should be near the shore.”
“Now, where we are I cannot tell,
But I wish we could hear the Inchcape Bell.”

They hear no sound, the swell is strong,
Though the wind hath fallen they drift along;
Till the vessel strikes with a shivering shock,
“Oh Christ! It is the Inchcape Rock!”

Sir Ralph the Rover tore his hair,
He curst himself in his despair;
The waves rush in on every side,
The ship is sinking beneath the tide.

But even is his dying fear,
One dreadful sound could the Rover hear;
A sound as if with the Inchcape Bell,
The Devil below was ringing his knell.


Filed under Inspiration

………. and the world went pink.

A proper post after a long time. This won the first prize in the writing competition organized by the magazine committee of my college.

A slight chill had crept into the freshness of Spring. Nature almost seemed to whisper to Sarah, “Dearest, the end draws nigh.” Sarah herself seemed prepared for it. That she had lived for more than sixty years after her several close encounters with the reaper, was itself a miracle of sorts. Sarah lit the candles on the menorah. She hardly ever bothered to do it these days but today felt different. The view of the meadows from her window was breathtaking. Blossoms of every hue covered the ground like a carpet. In the distance she could see a group of stately trees. It was a special place and she knew that today, she would have to visit it.

The staccato burst of a machine gun woke the six year old girl. “Come Sarah”, said the lady, “We have to leave”. Sarah could sense the urgency in her mother’s voice. The sound could mean only one thing – the Baum family, along with several others, was leaving Krakow. Where they were going, nobody knew. All they knew was, wherever they went, hope would not exist.

A tall blonde man with the characteristic blue eyes that remained cold and reminded everyone of the “supremacy” of his race bundled Sarah into the truck with her parents. Only Rabbi Moshe dared to aske, “Where are we going?” As the doors clanged shut, people screamed in terror. But it was not the darkness that scared them. It was the answer. Auschwitz. Purgatory would have sounded better, for they knew Auschwitz was a place where even the Devil would fear to tread.

It all came back to Sarah as she prayed to the Almighty to forgive her and leave her a place amongst her beloved parents. Her sweet, gentle mother who had had no strength to keep up with the monstrous pace set by the SS. her father, who once seemed full of vitality, but whose failing health meant that he would see the inside of a gas chamber within a year of arriving at Auschwitz.

Sarah did not work too hard till her mother died. From that day, she had to look out for herself. A human being reduced to his primeval instincts is a terrifying sight to behold and this was what Sarah saw each day as girlss slapped and punched and kicked and knifed their own mothers and sisters to get that extra morsel of bread or just a piece of cloth. She too had to fight to survive and she did just that.

As Sarah thought back to every incident that was clearly etched in her memory, she felt like she was going through them all over again. She did not have a single happy memory of that time. The happiest, she mused, might have been liberation day, when she was finally freed from the camp of death and forced to live in an orphanage. She had survived, she had her freedom, but no one to share it with. Her parents were dead and all her friends at camp, if she could call some of them that, were lost in that great exodus.

The next sixty years seemed to pass in a blur. It seemed as though after Liberation Day, this was the day that followed. She had outlived Hitler, the monster whose acts, she had thought, would never be repeated. Then came Stalin, Saddam, Ghaddafi and so many others who
offered hope and then betrayed millions.Sarah had survived the biggest war in human history and when she realized that history was very close to repeating itself, she felt her inner resolve leave her. Sarah no longer wished to survive, no longer felt the desire to revolt against the forces that professed themselves stronger than her. Sarah Baum had had enough of the horrors of war and the hypocrisies of peace.

She remembered the clump of trees. She knew there was a clearing in the center. It was completely covered by the lofty branches above, which made the place seem like a sanctuary. The trees were covered with delicate flowers which gently rained down towards the clearing below. She had spent many a lonely hour there, seeking solace from the Almighty.

Slowly she coaxed her frail body into the center of the clearing. Flowers fell all around her and as dusk set in, she hoped someone would say Kaddish for her eternal soul. She remembered all the good things in the world which were worth preserving and thanked God for being allowed to see them. her life, she felt, was a miracle. The pink flowers still fell gently as the end drew near. As she lay on the ground, she heard a lady call out, “Come Sarah, we have to leave”, and the world went pink.

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