Vita hominis

“You are too hard on yourself.”
Harshly, I spurn the comment
indulging a moment of introspection,
examining the corpus of worms
those that incessantly eat at life,
gnawing away its fine veneer,
until all that is left resembles
a wrinkled hardened prune pit.

“What’s done is done.”
That profitable observation,
never a coin exchanged for it.
Having made the staves of my barrel,
forming my chariot of journey,
caught in the river’s current
there is no turning back,
once it rushes forward, nothing
but the roaring falls of Niagara.

“How will you be remembered?”
That is the folly of a human quest,
interpretation determines memory,
everyone will be what others want
belief is the only logic left.
Ashes have no memory, no DNA,
nothing that resembles what was,
anyway, it does not matter,
memory is as complacent as thin air.

©2012, Donald Harbour

1 thought on “Vita hominis

  1. This is splendid stuff, Donald. I like the form in the first place: those three stanzas, each with its popular saying, each with its wry reflection on reality! The image of the barrel and Niagara is great – colourful enough to stick in the mind but perfectly judged and appropriate. Ditto the worms that eat at life – and ashes that have no memory, no DNA. The poem as a whole is a humorous, dry observation, and a very satisfying read.


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