ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem came out of the August 1, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by an image from Artcarnage on Minds that I stumbled across, and by the "WILD CARD: death" square in my 11-1-16 card for the Fall Festival Bingo. It has been sponsored by [personal profile] daisiesrockalot.


"All a Man Can Do"


Death smiles at everyone,
but most people feel threatened
instead of flattered by it.

It's like a gay man cruising
with a curl of lips, a wink,
the shadow of a nod.

Eyes meet eyes,
but most folks look away.

So Death is lonely,
and kind of shy, but
always looking for
a new friend anyway.

There are a few
who startle at the idea
of Death's affection, or at
the idea they're worthy of it.

They point and mouth, Who, me?

And Death grins back at them,
gives a bashful nod, and
whispers the secrets
of the Universe.

It's what you get for
being polite instead of
acting like a jerk,

a friend who's always
got your back and will
never, ever abandon you.

Death smiles at us all.
All a man can do is smile back.

* * *

Notes:

Death as a physical process has led to Death as a personification in most cosmologies. Regrettably the fear of death has made most of those personifications negative.

Thinking about death is healthy. Knowing your goals can improve your chances of having a good death, much like preparation improves the chance of healthy childbirth. Here is a macabre but totally adorable article about how to have a healthy relationship with Death. Yes, he really can be a bit skittish, because people rant at him all the time. Also he likes poetry. ;) I think the image prompt for this poem has a sweet little homoromantic angle to it, especially coming from such an unexpected source. You don't usually see macho badasses talk about flirting with Death in that way.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-08-03 03:20 am (UTC)
technoshaman: Tux (Default)
From: [personal profile] technoshaman
You don't usually see macho badasses talk about flirting with Death in that way.

LOLOLOLOL! Because they don't know HOW!!! (Best part of the post!)

Reminds me of Jim Wright's signature line: Don't just embrace the crazy, sidle up to it and lick its ear!

(THAT man has NO issues with his own masculinity! :)

Yeah. Zane and I are old friends. It's the TOWER that makes me go "ohshit"...

Re: Thoughts

Date: 2017-08-03 04:41 am (UTC)
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
From: [personal profile] mdlbear
And Talis Kimberley's Death.

Re: Thoughts

Date: 2017-08-03 02:34 pm (UTC)
we_are_spc: (Default)
From: [personal profile] we_are_spc
And Mercedes Lackey's Shadow Lover (Death). Her writing SL to match the preference of the individual dying (Male for homosexuals; female for those who are heterosexuals)...that was genius and I had to stop a minut reading one of her books to go "o.o well that's new; I think I like it. o.o) :d

-Fallon~

PS: I can't wait until Mum comes fully active; one of her favored songs is Shadow Lover sung by Heather Alexander. :d

Re: Thoughts

Date: 2017-08-04 04:19 am (UTC)
we_are_spc: (Default)
From: [personal profile] we_are_spc
We used to be able to sing it well; not so much now. Nothing that practice can't fix, though! Most of us like it because it's a good song for keeping vocal range alive, too which is awesome for us. :( We're bards, whatya expect?

(No, seriously, I can't vibrate some words and names without making them musical. It's...just not me/us because Jay does it, too. I'm pretty sure we were born with a voice (Not really, it actually developed in us at age 12 or so.)

-Fallon~

Re: Thoughts

Date: 2017-08-08 01:02 am (UTC)
thnidu: my familiar. "Beanie Baby" -type dragon, red with white wings (Default)
From: [personal profile] thnidu
Oh, Neil Gaiman's Death! And Terry Pratchett's on the Discworld! So much more likeable than
Roger Zelazny's Yama (Lord of Light).

Re: Thoughts

Date: 2017-08-08 01:48 am (UTC)
we_are_spc: (Default)
From: [personal profile] we_are_spc
We've read part of Amber, but not the whole thing-Weve not met his Lord of Light. Probably a good thing.

-Fallon~

Re: Thoughts

Date: 2017-08-08 02:06 am (UTC)
thnidu: my familiar. "Beanie Baby" -type dragon, red with white wings (Default)
From: [personal profile] thnidu

The title alludes not to Death but to the Buddha, and thus to Zelazny's protagonist Sam (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lord_of_Light):

(no subject)

Date: 2017-08-03 11:40 am (UTC)
siliconshaman: black cat against the moon (Default)
From: [personal profile] siliconshaman
That's because in most of the really macho cultures, Death is a woman.

Yeah, they're pretty messed up.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-08-07 07:14 pm (UTC)
johnpalmer: (Default)
From: [personal profile] johnpalmer
It also reminds me of the awfully cool bit at the end of the first Avengers movie - "to face them is to court death", and the listener turns out to be Thanos (who really *does* court Death).

Interestingly, I'd imagine that Death would be quite put off by creepy, stalkerish Thanos who keeps on making more, and harder, work. "You don't love ME, you love an imagined version of me!"
Edited Date: 2017-08-07 07:14 pm (UTC)

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