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Doris Cornago


When Is Eternity


Climbing his bike, he is aware of tiredness

But the table is laid and he must hurry to feast

Lighter now by 5 kilos but still, he wants lower

Pedaling faster, the wind sings in his ears

Closer and closer the rolling sound comes swooshing

There's a pop and all becomes still in his head.


Look a bird drops from the sky, falling in smithereens

The tree before him looks scraggly, oddly shaped

Its skeleton fingers reaches out begging for mercy

Slowly it crumples as one liquid, spilling guts

Into pavement, a dull grey matching the sky

A dull light flashes in his brain, warning danger.


His grip on the bicycle relaxes, realizing the steel

Has molten into soft rubber, a salty taste in his mouth

Makes him know warm blood has flowed to his jaws -

He has fallen down from bike to pavement instantly

Where are his feet, his hands, what has become of face?

Madly, maddeningly, all seems molten into nothingness.


Just this morning he said hi, the room responded as one

Today and forever, he has planned on living the same

But yet, there's a quiver in the air and among leaves

One by one, they seem to detach, and quickly swept away

Should this morning be the end of days, how will it be?

Should this morning extend to oblivion, when is eternity?

Submitted: Sunday, December 29, 2013
Edited: Monday, December 30, 2013

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

This poem was written as an answer to my mentor's query, 'What will you do when I am gone? ' To make him know this, I depicted for him one scenario of exiting from this earth - a nuclear holocaust. By making him imagine his own demise, I made him realize the horror of such an event. This poem is a warning for all to be aware that our time - yours and mine - are limited. We do not know whether death will come in the morning or evening - or in what form. Eternity is just around the corner - but don't hurry to meet it. Enjoy life while you are here. Be productive, love the one you are with and don't make anything conditional.

Comments about this poem (When Is Eternity by Doris Cornago )

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  • Doris Cornago (12/30/2013 8:48:00 PM)

    Ah. You are a young man. Yes. Enjoy everything but not for yourself alone. Tell us fellow life lovers how everything looks from where you are. As for life eternal, we cannot argue of it as it is not yet within the range of our view - or anybody's view. I will tell of it when I encounter it. Kant's perspective is good ground to start from. (Report) Reply

  • marvin brato (12/30/2013 8:05:00 PM)

    Death is eternal on this earth, but it ends in the second phase...this time for life eternal! Indeed, life is short make the best of it while we can! Meaningful poem of truth! (Report) Reply

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