A Ready Death

Time makes the old songs stop playing:

the records warp, the tape crumbles

or the songs just refuse to infuse

my chest with the buzz of excitement

I once felt when they shook the air.

Time slows the dog who once ran

to split the wind with his face until

his ears were pasted along his neck.

Now he whimpers all night, speaking

for the mute pain of arthritic joints.

After taking the world away, time replaces

it with a nothing made worse than

nothing by its claims to be something new.

The old world was better than this one

and all I can assure the young is that

their world will be better than the next.

My ears inchmeal to deafness, unable

to take the measure of words that rattle

within them as a foreign language.

My eyes each year can focus only on a picture

stretching farther away than arms reach.

And these bodies which bustle around me

prove to be mannikins mimicking paths

once negotiated by friends I loved in days

when I knew more living than dead.

Now, even the friendly cat on my lap

does not know the name I call her.

Nothing that was is, so time is the midwife

of lies and the world still born each morn is

already death.


posted to Weekly Scribblings #27: Things Were Different Back Then 

Episode 1 of the PoJo Show — a podcast mixing poetry, spoken word, music, and sound — is now up on the Sound Files page and on my YouTube channel.


9 thoughts on “A Ready Death

  1. What a sad view of passing time and reaction to it. It was said there were seven ages of man (and presumably women too). Each age is an revelation and can be both a reward and a disappointment.

  2. This reminds me of the book of Ecclesiastes in Bible…all is vanity, a chasing after wind. We too get old and are soon gone. Only knowing God can give any meaning to this life and death.

  3. Although this is gloomy in tone, and I want to join my fellow octogenarian ‘old egg’ above in denying that gloom, there’s some beautiful writing in this. I love the wordcrafting, and can in some respects relate to the sentiments even while rejecting them. 🙂

    1. Jedediah Smith

      Thank you. I appreciate your insight in seeing craft thru content. It’s certainly not a content I feel all the time either.

  4. It seems that more the human race lives on earth, the worse things get. I want to hope that the children of our children’s children’s make decisions that make things better from them… or for future generations. But goodness knows that our record suggests something very different.

    1. Jedediah Smith

      Thank you for your thoughts. At heart, I still have some optimism. It’s natural that we want to see things happen in our lifetimes, but our spans are just an eyeblink compared to human history.

Leave a Reply to Jedediah Smith Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s