Thursday, April 12, 2012

Three Score And Ten

The years of our life are seventy,
or even by reason of strength eighty
yet their span
is but toil and trouble
they are soon gone
and we fly away-
Psalm 90:10

According to the Bible
the number of years
that a man can expect to live is
Three score and ten
I assume it’s the same
for women
As I am
65 years old
By this calculus
I can expect to live
for another five years
or so

This notion
is very sobering
to say the least
though I am not complaining
for by and large
my life has been
something of a
moveable feast
(Ernest Hemingway
ain’t got nothing
on me!)

And we all know by now
just how Papa Hemingway
decided to exit this earth
(By blowing his head off 
with a double gauge
shotgun! An extremely
messy way to go!)

And we all know by now
just how Vincent Van Gogh
had decided to leave this earth
By first cutting his own
Left ear off
Before finally
Exiting this world
with a small pistol shot
through the right temple
of his forehead.
(Less messy
but equally as effective!)

I could go on and on
listing the famous and
infamous mad geniuses
throughout the eons of
human existence
who have chosen
to take their own lives
rather than to accede to
nature’s more leisurely
their impatience
exceeded only by
their all consuming need
to silence once and for all
the incessant howling of
their individual demons

Let us please be clear
I am in no way
recommending or
as the sure cure all
for all the ills that
ails modern man
but neither am I
suggesting that I
recommend or endorse
nature’s alternate
exit strategy of death by
planned obsolescence
(Where the clockwork orange
inner workings of our
own bodies
begin to decompose
allowing shafts of sunlight
to shine between our ribs
while all of modern science
marshals its resources
to ward off
the inevitable
demise of all
of us who
are mostly made
Of mere
flesh and bone)

There is a third alternative
which to me does seem
to be the more humane
by allowing us to choose
death with dignity
at the time and place of
our own choosing
on our own terms and
at our own pace
assisted by those
we trust the most
to guide us all
to a much better place
without at the same time
ever having to forfeit
either our love of god or
god’s good grace

I suppose that
when push finally does
comes to shove
there is nothing that
can prevent us all
(short of sedation)
from getting a bad
case of the crazies
at the sobering prospect
of the sheer necessity of
Having to push up the daisies!

Philadelphia, Pa 2012

No comments:

Post a Comment