Portrait of the mind in time.


part of: Ambika

by Carrie Radna

21st Humanistic requiem, Part I

(Inspired by “Denn alles fleisch es ist wie gras”, second movement of Johannes Brahms’s Ein deutsches Requiem,
and a line from Pink Floyd’s “Time”, from their Dark side of the Moon).

Digging a hole in the cold ground
we’re one day closer to death
a childhood toy lost is now found
we’re one day closer to death

The ones born by nuclear plants
like Chernobyl and the Three Mile,
they might have to check out of this world early
(not by their choice) thanks to
our current style of automation
fueled by big contamination;
any pearls before all swine gathered upon the heath,
before their trampling upon you all,
is one day closer to death

26 vs 62.
Switching integers usually don’t lie
as advancing years get their due
but sometimes the younger ones do die,

first, without a reservation,
a sudden shot in the dark, a flash in the pan
causing a great fire, fueling the spark
between can’t and can,
where idiots test their limits
by holding their breath—
one day closer to death,

And those who have earned advanced degrees
may be more likely to tend to stay safe,
and keep on surviving, but in every known society,
elevated inhabitants do show off their own kinds of recklessness
that often show off their dark sides
up front and center, when their dark thoughts
turn their volumes all the way up,
and their sound contaminates everything that they touch.

I dig a hole
using most of my bones
once found in the Earth,
doing most of the work
without relief or belief,
without a handy high of meth—-

I try to reassign all my bad thoughts,
bring them back into line,
keep my soul sober
until my actual last breath.

One day closer to death
we are heading to the same places,
and if our faces
are lined or not,
and if our hearts
are filled with God or are not,
or our hearts
are empty of love, or are not—-

It wasn’t a waste at all;
the grass will grow under and over us all
even if we are soon forgotten.

We will all still die without fail,
a tail of infringement may keep in check
for the whole, living human race,
and for every animal brought to life,
and our children
born with both grace and guts,
who suffered long in this life
despite their surroundings and hopes,
they can’t escape this fate,
even with youth prolonged,
and our careless, fruitful actions.

Digging a hole in the cold ground
we’re one day closer to death
an odd dog’s bone (or is that from us?) is now found—-
we’re one day closer to death.