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Poem: Existential Conversations–IV. Death

Dear John Paul
You wrote of death
As the definition of life
To which they declared
You an eternal pessimist
Unable to see how war
Shaped your reality watching 
First hand as life was snatched
From youth who barely lived
Cut down in cold blood in battle 
Before they even understood
Life and it’s deeper meaning
Those who lived were tempered
By death to find the sweetest fruit
Each day because baptized in death
They realized there was no guarantee
The sun would rise for them tomorrow

Dear John Paul
In this you saw lessons being learned
Wondering if seeing death was necessary
Or if we could each learn that death waits
For each of us at an uncertain hour
Knowing that Damocles sword hangs
Ever ready to cut our life’s thread
Should spur us to live each moment
To its fullest as our final breath awaits
Often at a moment not of our choosing

Dear John Paul
There are many who think you a pessimist
Ignoring the inevitable consequence of life
Pretending that tomorrow will always come
Spending their lives waiting because of it
Making excuses for not living in the moment
Failing to recognize that this moment is it
It is all we are promised in this short life 

Dear John Paul
I thank you for your insights 
I embrace death as a companion
That walks beside me in all I do
As a reminder that finality waits
For no man and comes as it pleases

This week’s experimental poem is an Epistle, a letter written to someone covering philosophical considerations. You can read more about this form by clicking here.

Copyright © 2021 TJS Sherman All rights reserved.


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