Life & Death

LIFE
Life Is
Life is defiled
Life is defiled by Death
Death is defined by life
Death is defined
Death is
DEATH

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‘Death’ . . . W.B.Yeats

[  # 98 of My Favourite Short Poems  ]

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This poem, ‘Death’, by W.B.Yeats (1865 – 1939} is one of his shortest.   It attempts to contrast the death of of animals, who do not possess such a concept, with the centrality, the significance and the certitude of what death means in the experience of all human beings.   Yeats wrote this poem in 1929 and published it in his 1933 collection, ‘The Winding Stair and Other Poems’. 

Death

Nor dread nor hope attend
A dying animal;
A man awaits his end
Dreading and hoping all;
Many times he died,
Many times rose again.
A great man in his pride
Confronting murderous men
Casts derision upon
Supersession of breath;
He knows death to the bone –
Man has created death.

 

Author: William Butler Yeats

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A Conundrum

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Sycamore helicopter seedlings: Photo – WHB 2018

A CONUNDRUM

The ant that scampers from my tread,
Does it feel the fear, the dread, 
The threatened onslaught of my shoe,
Does it fear as I would do?

Does it wonder if the rest – 
His sibling brothers in the nest – 
Would miss him if he did not return
Would they show the least concern?

Or would his absence not be noted; 
Never mentioned, never quoted? 
Just another gap in time,
Neither sordid nor sublime.

I ask God in my ignorance,
What then is the difference
Between this threatened ant and me;
Which of us should cease to be? 

 

close up photo of ant

Photo by Egor Kamelev on Pexels.com

As I Grow Old

Father William

AS  I  GROW  OLD

As I grow old
So I become bold

No more restrictions 
Disallowed contradictions

Youth brought its gaucheness 
Implacable faultless

Taking for granted 
Entitlement implanted

But age, ah the pleasure, 
Getting the measure 

Of life in its dotage
Foregoing all rampage 

Now felt understanding
All pressure withstanding

Now my time has turned
Rights I have earned

Taken life’s bites
Its end in my sights

I’ve come to a time
When the next world is mine

Forgetting, forgiving,
Poetically living

No longer the dread
Of just wishing I’d said

For in verse yet unsung
I know what I’ve done

Brought to fruition
A lifetime’s ambition

And for ever for me
Life’s summation, its key. 

 

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NEXT

Webster

”Quietus’ … WHB (1956)

 

NEXT

When the Quietus comes
Then is the Night
The end of my Beginning
The start of The NEXT

That infinite Unknown
That never wished for Future
So far safely hidden

Forestalling the Pain
Though shrouding the Bliss
Of what has passed

By drawing Life’s Curtain
Its obscuring Haze
Over its ever-darkening Window

It becomes the Harbinger
Of that Unmapped Ocean
Horizon’s New Dawn

Only so am I granted
That indeterminate Vision
Of the meaning of Destiny
Of what lies NEXT

 

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The Detritus Of Time

 [ Wednesday Replay # 5 ] 

Previously Posted on September 6, 2016

 

BodyInThePool-2004Devon

TIME’S  DETRITUS

Once upon a time,
In a pool and mired in grime,
I found a body, floating high.
A desolate place to die.

A basin for a tomb;
Blue plastic for a shroud.
A watery necropolis
For beauty now anonymous.

Abandoned, left to rot,
That was to be her lot.
Discarded and bereft,
Beauty the sands of time had left.

She’s found a resting place
Without sacrament or grace.
Long ago loved but now
The victim of a broken vow.

This unseemly end
My heart did rend.
‘The detritus of time’
Will end my rhyme.

 

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The photograph was taken by me in 2004 on a farm in East Devon, England.

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The Borderlands of POETRY – 4

book book series business chapter

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

POETRY AS DREAM

 

Poetry is my life revealed,
For there, in depth of thought,
Lie all my hopes, my dreams expressed
In words intense and tightly wrought.

Exploring what I hardly know,
Seeking as though dreaming,
I struggle to define my life,
Grasping for more meaning.

The confines of experience
I venture to pursue,
Defining life and love and death,
Their meaning to construe.

And when I’ve sifted every thought,
Mined the deepest seams,
I feel I’ve drained my Muse’s well,
Finding only dreams.

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‘Tales Once Told’ – A SONNET

MusingOnRydalWater

‘Contemplation: Rydal Water’ …  Pen&Ink – WHB

Tales Once Told

 

The rain-filled sky is bleak and sad today,
Its loaded clouds weep bitter joyless tears,
While winter winds arouse the foam-topped waves,
Seeking to prove the truth of all my fears.

Tears, as raindrops, fall when I feel sad.
I shed them as I think what might have been.
For fears that life, with time, is running out
Reflect on what my life has come to mean.

The joys of youth now turned to old age cares,
And I must be content that life was long.
So many of the friends who I once knew
Have now departed, lived, and sung their song.

But, I will join them in the realms of gold,
And we can reminisce on tales once told.

 

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WHEN . . .

BredonHill1991

 

WHEN . . .

When lust has stepped aside for love
And zeal has lost its bite;
When age denies a wholesome life,
How else to snare delight?

When warmth becomes placidity
I’m apt to end the fight,
But memories of a life of love
Turn darkness into light.

For when our oneness has expired
And you are out of sight,
You still are here in memory
And I still hold you tight.

 

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To my followers and to casual visitors to Roland’s Ragbag:

I shall not be publishing further poems or photographs this week.
Hopefully I will be back on-line with regular postings shortly afterwards.

 

Sketch & Verse by WHB . . . aka  ROLAND  ©

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Till The World Ends

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Detail of a Dante Gabriel Rossetti painting, modelled by his wife, Elizabeth Siddal

PROMISE TO A LOST LOVE

As the pull of the moon
And the push of the wind
Cause the waves to break on the shore,

So the lure of your face
And the pulse of your heart
Will ever my lifeblood restore.

Till the tides end their flow
And the breeze ceases motion
I vow it’s just you I’ll adore

For when the end comes
And I’m covered in earth
I’ll be with you for time evermore.

 

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