Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Living and the alternative

Terry Pratchett is an author who has created a real character out of the Death image, an entity that owns a horse called Binky and likes cats, quite unlike the morbid thoughts I have put down here, but in acknowledgement of his endearing characterisation, I offer this slightly different world view.

Death circles around our lives like a silent animal
In the darkness beyond the campfire
As a tiny child my fire burned brightly,
And I did not know Death in his night black robe
But he was ever present hidden in the dark
In his secret black robe.

Death glides in from the dark and my grandfather was gone
But I was hidden away and I did not see Death
In his fearsome black robe

Death stalks around me,
Striking here and there but never close,
I do not see him in his dire black robe.

The armies march, bombs fall and Death reaps many souls
And I fear him in his terrible black robe
As I grow he takes my friends one here, one there
And I hate him in his dreadful black robe

Now and again he swoops in from the dark
But he does not come near me in his sombre black robe
One by one my family become fewer
I have seen his dark black robe pass many times now,
But the fire is bright and I do not fear him,
Maybe he will never come for me in his awful black robe

He swoops and takes one parent then the next,
Both snared in his long black robe
But he does not take me
More friends slip away with him, wound in his ebony black robe
But still I remain.
I am brushed by his passing as my true love is taken,
Wrapped in his fine black robe.

The fire dims and I am alone in the gathering dark
I wonder why he leaves me so long as the years crawl by,
And he has not come in his splendid black robe,
But I know that one day I will greet him and be glad


  1. Oh dear. Not at all like the loveable Bill Door (as I now think of him thanks to Mr Pratchett!)

    Very moving though. It's almost like you wrote it for someone. Someone very old.

  2. Thanks. that is exactly how I intended it to be, from a very old person's point of view.

  3. Wow - so very poignant. Well written, snafu. It's a mystery indeed, why one is taken so early in life and another endures so long.

  4. Beautiful, Snafu ... and very moving. x