To an old man what is more natural

                                    than to die?




Individuals die   species die

the fleeting made eternal through incessant change

yet how unnatural it seems that eels and I

will cease to be


Senescence ­– elongated   a little   age to age

mental powers the last to decline

no excuse to be a bore   plant an English garden

memorize French


Baudelaire   La Mort des pauvres

   C’est la clarté vibrante à notre horizon noir

C’est l’auberge fameuse inscrite sur le livre,

  Où l’on pourra manger, et dormir et s’asseoir


Recall yesterday’s dream – a feast

hosted by childhood’s long gone sons

a hand-embroidered cloth on which

thrice I spilled blood red wine


Am I too blithe?  too careless

with lead-footed crazy-paced time?

Not my expectation   a poor soul’s adieu

death as consolation


At the end of the voyage   his brain on fire

he vows to plunge into the abyss

Au fond de L’Inconnu

    pour trouver du noueau!


The body’s longing for release

melds with its fierce grip to stay

I’ll be wrenched from all I love

but welcome death’s alchemy


whether led to some high-spirited unknown

or dissolved

perhaps reconfigured

in another time   another place