How Will You Meet your Death?

Hey, People

Hey, you over there
who are sitting on the shore, happy and laughing,
someone is dying in the water,
someone is constantly struggling
on this angry, heavy, dark, familiar sea.

Nima Yushij (1896-1960)



How will you meet your death?

That inevitable, quintessential milestone.

Head on, sword drawn, fighting?

On your knees, begging?

Splayed on your back, defenseless?

Expecting and waiting

In serene wisdom?

Hiding in a cave shuddering?

In your sleep, unaware?

Having suffered years of pain,

Weakened and demoralized?

Walking into oblivion,

Asking but not receiving?

Taking the government to court

To allow you assisted suicide?

Believing you’re destined

For salvation in a better place?

Or that this earthly vessel

Is all there is?

Life is a bitch and then you die?

Or “Knock and the door will be opened to you”?

Singing “Hineini, hineini,

I’m ready my Lord”?

Staging your farewell concert?

Writing your own requiem?

“Death be not proud”? Or

“They give birth astride of a grave”?


Does it even matter?


It has you around its finger

It drags you through mud at will

And it blows you out at whim.

The rest is an empty gong.


Ode to the Sydney Opera House


You sit in your white glory

By the blue ocean



Like a flock of birds

Ready to take off


Like swollen sails

Setting off to sea


Like a sophisticated statue

The chiseled spirit of creativity


Like segments of a ripe citrus fruit

Tempting and mouth watering


Like nothing


Resembling the actual

Steel, cement,

Brick and mortar

You’re made of


You’re not a building

You’re an artistic masterpiece


You shouldn’t be out on the street

You belong in an art gallery.


For Johnnie

A lone yellow mum from the huge bouquet

you brought me only two weeks ago

still sits on my desk


Your car is in your garage,

Your mug on your coffee table

Your jeans on metal hangers at your cottage

Your tools outside in the shed


Your cat is at your sisters’

Your texts on my cell phone

Your voice rings in my ears.


Ania said you didn’t need to be born this time,

You came only to help her cope with life.


It was easy to believe her.

You were loving and generous,

Light-hearted and witty

Discreet and graceful


A superior human being.


You saw Ania off,

Nursed your sister after her operation,

Took care of her move when she had to downsize

Went on the trips on your bucket list

And having accomplished your mission in this life

Serenely bid it farewell.


I hope you find another reason to come back

To grace the life of a few more mortals

Though too late for me

to enjoy your presence one more time



Hanz is 86 and has been living in a nursing home for two years.

Using his walker he often visited his acquaintances on different floors

He even had the reputation of a flirt among the young female staff.

A couple of months ago Hanz forgot the elevator code.

One day last month he couldn’t find his room.

Last week he complained that he keeps buying expensive stuff, but his friends steal everything from him.

“I know they’re going to kill me,” he said to me yesterday. “Please watch out for me!”

Today Hanz refused to eat his lunch.