Treasure Island

Cory Ruda

(7/31/91)

Black Swallows Red


Life is so often thought of like an object,
existing like a chair or an oven
until death comes by and removes it,
whisking it away, the inexorable thief in the night.
Does no one find this strange?
'The only thing certain in life is death; '
this statement is wrong.
Death isn't in life, it is outside of it,
separate, always there,
the back drop for Shakespeare's players.
Death is not in life because life is inside death,
acting as a state of distraction,
a momentary pause,
before the boat crashes into the sea.
What does anyone have at the end?
Life is no longer theirs,
not even a speck left behind.
Death lingers, alone.
It grasps all,
yet holds nothing.
'Black swallows red, '
No. Red was never there.
There was only black.

Submitted: Thursday, May 16, 2013
Edited: Thursday, May 16, 2013
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Poet's Notes about The Poem

This is a nod to John Logan's play 'Red' about Mark Rothko. It isn't what Rothko meant by the line, but so what?

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