Death’s Grasp (Slam Poem)

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(Photo: Mat Collishaw , Burning Flowers , ca. 2010-2013)

 

Humans,

We are volatile temporary beings,

We are not immortal,

We are not omnipotent,

We come to this earth with a purpose,

A purpose to live, to love,

But the grasp of death is never far,

And that’s what makes us who we are,

 

We fear death,

For existence is all we have known,

Though life we take our initial breath,

But with every breath we step closer to death,

And as we approach death,

We lose all of our breath,

And collapse into a respite,

Which we may never wake from,

 

Our life is a sweet summer marigold,

Its buds bloom into a series of colourful petals during the summer,

Its beauty vivid and enchanting,

But evanescent in the end.

As the cold of the winter approaches,

That flower loses its petals,

And like us, collapses into a deep slumber,

Which it may never wake from,

 

Death deprives us of our loved ones,

It leaves us in solitude,

It reaps the souls of our sons,

And leaves us subdued.

We preserve ourselves,

We try to distance ourselves from the inexorable,

But the knowledge of our eventual demise,

Lingers deep down inside of our minds,

 

You may say that you wish to live forever,

That you wish to die never,

But our eventual passing is what gives our life it’s merit,

The looming presence of death is what motivates us to get out of bed each morning,

Because we may not always have a tomorrow,

The looming presence of death is what lets us perceive the true beauty of our lives,                                           

The looming presence of death is what gives our life its momentum,

It is not the vindictive venom we make it out to be,

Can’t you see? 

Death is what coerces us to be alive, 

We may blame death for our sorrows,

But rather, we should thank it for the happiness that it gives to our lives,

 

So ask yourselves again,

Do you want to live forever?

Do you want to live an endless reality of immortality?

Do you want to live a life with no motivation,

a life with no purpose,

a life where you can always adjourn your dreams for tomorrow?

Because I don’t,

I want to live a complete life,

A life where I can say that I have truly lived,

Because when I die,

I want to be satisfied with the life I have lived on this Earth,

 

Humans,

We are not immortal,

We are not omnipotent,

We come to this Earth with a purpose,

A purpose to live, to love,

But the grasp of death is never far,

And that’s what makes us who we are,

Beautiful new words to describe obscure emotions – TED talk by John Koenig

John Koenig writes The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows. 

Here are some of the words he’s created to express certain emotions:

Morii: the desire to capture a fleeting experience

Zenosyne: The sense that time keeps going faster

Let’s think about complex emotions that don’t have words to express them, and then create words for these emotions.

Here are some emotions identified by John Koenig:

  • a glimpse of what may have been
  • the moment a conversation becomes real and alive
  • feature of modern society that suddenly strikes you as absurd and grotesque
  • the frustration of being stuck in just one body, that inhabits only one place at a time
  • the tendency to give up trying to talk about an experience because people are unable to relate to it
  • the awareness of how little of the world you’ll experience
  • the desire that memory could flow backward
  • the fear that everything has already been done
  • Sometimes it feels like your life is flashing before your eyes, but it’s actually the opposite: you’re thinking forward, to all the things you haven’t done, the places you intend to visit, the goals you’ll get around to…
  • the awareness of the smallness of your perspective
  • a kind of melancholic trance in which you become absorbed in vivid sensory details
  • the ambiguous intensity of looking someone in the eye, which can feel simultaneously invasive and vulnerable
  • the realisation that the plot of your life doesn’t make sense any more
  • the desire to care less about things—to loosen your grip on your life, to stop glancing behind you every few steps, afraid that someone will snatch it from you before you reach the end zone

During our meeting we had a go at creating our own words for different emotions.

Declan Saunders:

  • Aralia: The imprint of a forgotten memory
  • Burrin: The comfort of being alone
  • Droldent: Being cold on the inside even though you are warm on the outside (when you step inside from the cold)

Jenzen Yau, Haotian Yang, Julien Finti:

  • Jeon: Post holiday depression

David Ly:

Fain : The awareness of how little of the world you will experience

Alex Cheriyan and Bernard Tso:

  • Jekus – The feeling of trying to convey a meaning or feeling that does not have a word
  • Valare – The desire to step out of your life for a period of time and have somebody else take over
  • Falatious – The feeling of thinking that nothing you do will have much of an impact in this world
  • Nillatts – The feeling that you think you will die with no one loving you

Edward Jin:

  • Nilia: A state of intense concentration, where you are aware of nothing except for the task at hand

Thanks everyone, for giving this a go. Looks like you enjoyed the challenge – and the doughnuts.