This Business Of Dying Poem by Kaye Cee

This Business Of Dying

Rating: 5.0


When we die society dumps us
into the obligatory 6 feet of ground.
Or - for the faint of heart -
seals us away in marble
crypts, To save money,
they place us on a funeral pyre
as they barbecue us to cinders.
Who would recognize you in that state?

(A woman opens the urn
and takes a sniff. Yes, that’s him.
That’s my Harry.)

With our last exhalation,
We become something to hide,
a secret, shunned.
Think of all the people who’ve tread
upon this planet. Endless.
What do we do with them?

We have plundered the Earth
With ourselves,
along with all the plastic detritus
of our lives. Recycling doesn’t exist,
just accrual upon accrual,
the garbage barge
circling Manhattan;
no one owning it.

(I don’t know where my garbage
goes when they take it away, ”
exclaims a middle-aged woman.)

We kid ourselves.
How many of us will they force
into the gorge today?

Now, here’s the pragmatism
of the human race:
One look at a globe will tell you
Earth bears more water than land.
Who knows how many bones
fill the ground below our feet?
Like a claustrophobic crawl
through Paris catacombs;
skeletons from the French Revolution
crunching underfoot until a sudden grotto;
skulls and bones decorating
the walls like a salon.
Peaceful here.

(Prostitutes and fugitives
use the cold, damp Parisian catacombs today,
says a reporter from the Travel Channel.)

What happens to the life force that inhabited
Our now mummified remains?

We die and separate from ourselves.
We leave ourselves all over the place,
Even if we’re just ash.

And survivors must dispose of us
immediately like unwanted evidence.
They produce a flourish
labeled a funeral.
They pour out of the church
And after the last prayer,
after the last dying flower thrown,
they grin as if to say, “Dead people?
What dead people? ”
and meet afterward for catered food.

They buried our shells.


Scientists have discovered a section
of the brain that actualizes
as our corporeal selves shut down -
the spark of the divine?
Indulgent angels hasten us

off to see the Wizard
and we remember we knew them before.
And the angels with their golden auras
and all encompassing wings guided us
into a physical format, watched us become matter
and spurred our birth. And now -
after the Grand Test - they deliver us from evil.

Copyright 2008

Sarwar Chowdhury 09 October 2008

fine composition! I added 10 to this poem

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Ben Gieske 03 October 2008

An interesting reading: viewing dying as a business. You very cleverly connected it with current problems facing us - population growth, pollution, religious belief. All of this is very serious, of course, so your injection of humor is welcomed (“taking a sniff. Yes, that’s him.” and “I don’t know where my garbage goes”.) . The lines I “like” are: “as they barbecue us to cinders”; “We become something to hide”; “We leave ourselves all over the place”, (Isn’t that the idea; ex., writing poems and posting them here so that others might read them eventually/forever?): “dispose of us immediately like unwanted evidence”; and “a flourish labeled a funeral”. “all the plastic detritus” - plastic is a well-chosen word vs. recycling. The problem is that there are miles of plastic containers floating in various places of the ocean. Plastic breaks down into very small particles eventually, but those particles remain forever. Well thought out and well written giving us a worthy material to contemplate.

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Dr.subhendu Kar 14 September 2008

Who knows how many bones fill the ground below our feet? ...................... yet a quest persistsby the life long immemorial but little breath yet unabsolved the queries are still unanswered as we need the whole of our life time lest we get all the answers...........wonderful piece of write with breath taking imagery and metaphors, and we simply stare to the fact by the metaphysics as we don`t have the answers onto the finale on to our ur own volley of silent queries when deathlessly slithers and ultimately proclaiminmg that we are dead, and we do exist non existantly, a gret write ingenious,10+, thanks for sharing

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Ahmad Shiddiqi 12 September 2008

very interesting! keep writing! If we could listen to Beethoven's Eroica Symphony and Tchaikovsky's Pathetic Symphony, maybe we can give more repect to funeral ceremony and dead men. Who knows?

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