A Matter of Life

A Matter of Life
by Michael Ashley
The secret of life is to “die before you die” —
and find that there is no death

-Eckhardt Tolle
pigeons eat anything
cigarette ends
in the gutter
and beneath the eaves of empty factories
they bray softly —
I want to say something back
but just don’t have the words
I fully expect to die before I’m forty
killed by something falling
the masonry is loose
the wind howls around the roofs
and the dirty claws of birds
tap atop the slates
In the beginning
there was primordial soup
(or should that be light?)
and in the end
there is nothing
a corpse on the pavement
brains spilled
out across the walkway
and two pigeons
picking casually over the cooling
final thoughts
a closed coffin…
and only the first row filled
high above in the nave
perched on a beam
they preen themselves
whilst the mourners
hum softly
to There is a Redeemer

0 thoughts on “A Matter of Life

  1. This piece is quite poignant. I enjoyed the reoccurance of the pigeons quite a bit, because they become a kind of symbol in which commonplace things can lead to the demise of other more significant commonplace things (us). But then again, this poems seems to also suggest that death is no more significant than pigeons perching themselves on buidlings.
    Moreover, I really appreciate the poem’s style. The short lines and stark language does much to enhance the content of this piece. Nicely done.

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