Life (A Poem)


I’m not usually one for poems, but I dug this out of a drawer – something I had written while in the depths of despair and loss years ago. I hope to send it along the channels for those who have been touched by loss in Orlando and beyond. Life isn’t fair, it’s true. But, when we find the goodness in our communities, there can still be much for which we can be grateful.

rainbow-heart

Life isn’t fair
and it never will be,
but it continues on
like the old oak tree.
Its branches swing
in the cool, crisp air.
Its leaves grow anew
without any care.
Its roots grow strong
in the deep brown soil.
And it always carries on
regardless of turmoil.

 
Life isn’t fair
though we wish it were.
We weep and cry,
console and confer.
When times get hard
it’s difficult to see
that there is a reason
for this life, for you and for me.
We sometimes drown
in an ocean of despair,
for a time so endless
it seems without repair.

 
Life isn’t fair
though we try to make it so.
We do our best to live
until it’s time to go.
We try to rise up happy
and grateful for each day.
We aim to make a better place
for those along the way.
Often despite our efforts
we come upon a wall
and find that our best actions
are no help when others fall.

 
Life isn’t fair,
no complaint will change this fact.
It’s a truth, inconsolable,
not hypothetical or abstract.
Life has no senses,
it cannot see or hear.
It doesn’t worry over things
or cower under fear.
Life is just a progression,
the growth of everything.
It moves with an even ebb and flow,
but it pauses for no one, for nothing.

 
Life isn’t fair
and it never will be
but it continues on.
Watch and you will see.
A place is made for all
though temporary it will last.
What is here today will
someday be the past.
What will come tomorrow
will be a question mark.
A riddle with no answer,
a shot in the dark.

 
Life isn’t fair
but it reveals this –
when our dreams are lost,
when our best intentions miss,
when we come up short
and lose along the way,
when we fall apart
and wish not to stay,
when it gets too big,
too much for us to hold,
when our greatest senses
are left out in the cold –

 
Life isn’t fair
we shouldn’t expect as much,
but life can still be worthy
of our gentle, human touch.

 

 

 

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Never Enough Time


Today we lost a dear family member. We knew it was coming. It wasn’t exactly a surprise. But, when we got the news, it stung like fire to think that this planet would be lacking in such a colorful personality. The void was immediately felt and the tears could not be contained.

The funny thing about death is that it’s everyone’s end game. It’s the direction in which we are all headed. It’s our future. It’s our inevitability. Yet, ironically, we forget this fact almost daily. Only when someone around use dies does it re-enter our minds as a jarring reality yet to be faced.

Turning on the news this week, there were other deaths which struck a chord in me. 88-year old Delbert Belton, a man who took a bullet for this country in Okinawa, died because a couple of fools couldn’t come up with better evening plans than, say, beating a man to death with flashlights. And then there’s the 22-year old college student, Christopher Lane, who was gunned down by a threesome who were as unworthy of life as they were “bored.” Sudden, terrible, unjustified, unwarranted deaths. Old or young, it’s all unfathomable. It’s all tragic.

So, when I sit at home after hearing of my loved one’s death, is it any less difficult or tragic because it was something we were all expecting? Simply put, no. There is never anything easy about death. No matter the age, no matter the means, it is all hard. It is all emotional. And, to those who love the one who has been lost, there is never enough time to throw in the towel and say that it has been a good run. Whether a person dies after one year or one hundred years, whether it’s after a long drawn out illness or a sudden traumatic event, it’s never enough. And it never will be. That’s just how death works.

It’s where we are all headed, but we do so kicking and screaming. No matter how much we hate mosquito bites, mullets, asshole waiters, or waiting in line at the DMV, we would much rather endure any of those things than die. No one wants to face our inevitable fate. No one wants to come upon this great unknown. Death is our last unknown. Our final question mark.

I can’t say that when my time comes I will be anything other than full of dread and fear. Maybe fatigue. Maybe fulfillment. Hopefully full of love. But, there is one thing of which I am certain – I will never feel like I had enough time. Because, really, does anyone?