Tag Archives: life

The Year We Die

When I finished this poem in the early hours of Jan 2/16 I looked back at the title… and thought shoot, that sounds more morbid than  I intended… especially around New Year’s Day.
It’s not really a poem about this year or last year. It’s a poem about about North American life and how strange just going through the motions can be. It’s a poem asking what if? What if you die soon? Will anything change about your life? Will anything about you be different?

The Year We Die

The year we die
is hardly different
We still fulfill
endless dreams
and hunger for
something more
than mundanity

And the month we die
is still as cold
as December
or as hot as July
It never sinks
when everything swims
We’re still the same
– still insane –
We’re still spent dry

And the week we die
doesn’t hold us
like a song
or cradle us
in mothering arms
We go to work
We take our medication
– maybe vitamins –
and hope that
our bodies will
improve with age

And the day we die
is just a day
Maybe we see it coming
because our bones
have turned rotten
or our skin’s melted away
But it’s likely that
we don’t see it coming
at all

The hour we die
is just a rush
of getting there
and being on time
Of having that second drink
or second portion
of overrated boredom
And those sick treats
we pretend are vegetables
curdle our tongues
with salt and vinegar
They make us wonder why
we even brush our teeth

The minute we die
is just a long minute
in a long line of
adrenaline-beating minutes
that make hearts race
into our heads
We see lives
flash before our eyes
and then suddenly know
that there aren’t any
tomorrows left

Yet the second we die
is eternity
An eternity
of waiting for light
hoping that God still loves us
and that our life
maybe even
stood for something
An eternity of
wishing we could’ve died
somewhere else
– among loved ones maybe –
or for someone else
– someone who
hasn’t seen the truth yet
And the lie we all tell ourselves
is that the eternity won’t end
but that we’ll stay
and hold that second
that we’ll be surrounded
by everyone
that our last words
will be as deep as
the Mariana Trench
that we’ll see
some sort of light

and that the real corpses
somehow aren’t the people
we leave behind

Jan 2/15


Graduation has a way of creeping up to you and freezing everything else… including blog posts. Now I’m back again after a wild ride. In the words of one of my very favorite teachers: Thank you for flying with us.


Breathe deeply, breathe a sigh
And let no word distract
From your presence
– your fully being here.
Hear the wind
Breathe sighs within you
The way it holds your cries
And sweeps them out
Into the world

Sweet wind that moves the ageless trees
I know no what distraction sees
But feel an earthen heartbeat
Sway beneath your gentle breeze

You are a song
Which, in singing, we remember
And soft melodies so old
They fade to myth
Still resound in our clanging spirits,
Our hearty souls
And our growing consciousnesses

You are a songbird in these trees
I know not what the wind believes
But I am calm
And know to never let the future freeze

We never know what we will do
We are out of our minds
And into this silent world
That shouts and whispers
While all we think of
Are the embers of an end,
The soft flames licking up
Into a new beginning

written Jun 13/15
photo credits: Damara Moe Photography