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Day of Death

The neighbour's cat
brought a mouse into our garden
four limbs twitching
And from that jaw, those claws
I performed a rescue
but it was all for naught
and I tucked that little life
on the compost stack
hoping it found a comfy spot
to shuffle off

Out walking that same afternoon
on the pavement, on the path
a squirrel who'd tried to fly
but kissed the curb
such a sad sight
as I strolled on by
I hope it was quick
an instant goodbye

Later on that ramble
A pigeon lay on the lawn
insides brought outside
in the shimmering sunlight
Fallen and discovered
by nature's tiny accomplices
all busy reducing and reusing
a cycle completing

All that death in one day
Was the universe speaking
or is life always busy ending
Nature is not so sentimental
and we’ll all meet those jaws
we’ll all kiss that curb
and complete the cycle
That day of death
comes to us all

While I still draw breath
there are many 'thank you's
so many 'I love you's
many 'how can I help you's
I still need to speak
and so I pray 'not today'
like we all pray
'please, not today'…




◄ If It Rains...

Petrol Green Eyes ►


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Wed 14th Dec 2022 15:37

Ah! Thank you Flyntland, Stephen and John, I'm so pleased you found this one. This was based on a real day this summer where death seemed to lurk at every turn. Quite surreal in its own way and gently sobering.

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Wed 14th Dec 2022 11:18

I have only just 'found' this poem and I agree with Helene it is a great poem.
We used to have a small holding - life and death was part of our every day life - each treated with care and respect - as it shoul be.

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Stephen Gospage

Wed 14th Dec 2022 08:30

An outstanding poem, Tom.

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John Botterill

Wed 14th Dec 2022 06:43

Heaney would have been proud of you, Tom. As would Hughes.
I really liked
Life is busy ending
It puts things in perspective. Great poem. 😎

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Thu 1st Dec 2022 14:47

Thanks Hélène! 😃 Yes, I can imagine he's seen some things, to be sure... Nature is rather brutal at times. I wasn't sure about the ending and had originally written a more ambiguous one but this is based on a day I experienced during the summer and those were the thoughts I was left with - so I kept this ending.

Thanks Stephen, much appreciated as always.

Thanks Uilleam, your persian cat sounds like a trooper! 😃

Thank you also to Emer, Kimberly, Dawn, Holden and K Lynn for reading and 'liking',

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Uilleam Ó Ceallaigh

Thu 1st Dec 2022 09:31

My missus' cat was a three-legged Persian, having been run over on the nearby railway track- despite that, it still managed to bring us offerings of sparrows etc.

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Stephen Atkinson

Wed 30th Nov 2022 21:35

A wonderful, thought provoking write, Tom

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Wed 30th Nov 2022 16:51

Really great poem! I read it to my husband who grew up in the country & it spurred some interesting stories of death in nature; ie "Nature is not so sentimental." Loved the heartfelt ending of the poem!

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