Death - Bed Or Chair? - Poem by Herbert Nehrlich
My father felt unwell that day.
he'd tripped on cobblestones.
It was expected that he rest
in bed his weary bones.
And in the morning hours, cold
death took his clammy hand.
Don't know if he left happily,
I do not have respect for Death,
but marrow-chilling fear.
And from my early childhood days,
it hovers very near.
As all the world, set in its ways
expects to die in bed.
The fickle term of deathbed is
a lie we have been fed.
And, after years of earnest thought
I've found my sweet solution:
I won't lie down on any bed
to face my execution.
I'll sit up in my favourite chair
and watch the world go by.
And no one needs to know I'm there,
but death will know that I defy
his greedy claws and greasy face,
his clipboard with our names.
Who ordered that the human race
must set its sight and aims
to certain death before our time,
'cause none of us are ready.
Advancing years make us sublime,
our spirits wild and heady.
That's when a pompous God decides
that I should now prepare
to kick the bucket.Who abides
by these draconian rules?
Well, no arrangements can be fair
when laws are made for fools.
A sheep will never make a fuss,
you simply cut its throat,
but you may not consider us
in such a docile boat.
Defy, stand up to destiny,
my brothers, let's unite!
Dump fears behind the willow tree
and put into this fight
our ancient wisdom, strong and free.
And for our guiding light
we let our spirits rise above,
well-carried by our souls.
And overcome with painful love
these heaven-ordained roles.
Who's telling me I have to die?
What's your authority?
Our life once started with this lie
'twas not revealed to me.
So, here we are with our chairs,
we will, at Death's first sight
forget pathetic worldly cares,
arrange all cushions right,
flop down to sit, prepared to stay
'til all eternity.
No other God will have a say,
the purpose is TO BE,
and, as once Shakespeare said so well
it's 'Be or Not To Be',
the question is can the death knell
subdue a chair-bound me?
The proof is in the pudding, though,
of which I'll, in my chair,
eat plenty as I watch the show
and Devil's eyes that stare.
To sum it up: You die in bed,
so if you don't lie down,
you won't be found by others, dead,
all pale, your face a frown.
And if my theory should fail,
and, like a clever sleeper,
he takes advantage of the frail,
this cruel, cold grim reaper,
and grabs my hand while sitting up,
it can't be quite the same.
I won't lie down where life does stop
inside the bed of shame.
So, if he wins I'll sit right there
and watch the world go by.
Until the end comes for my chair
and then we both can die.
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