life and death poems

July 20, 2006

more quirky ‘poems’ by Tom Lee

Don’t do as I did, my father said
As he lay dying on a cold hospital bed
life has taught me a few lessons along the way
I’d like to pass them on to you if you can stay

Don’t do as I did he murmured half asleep
Remember this, my son, always look before you leap
More haste less speed, Rome wasn’t built in a day
Yes, life has taught me some lessons along the way.

Don’t do as I did and always count the cost
strike while the iron is hot, for he who hesitates is lost
make hay while the sun shines reap your wild oats while you may
Never do it yesterday if it can be done today.
Time and tide wait for no man, tomorrow’s a new day.
Yes, life has taught me some lessons along the way.

Now you listen to me, son, I’ll give you some sense
The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.
There’s no time like the present, there’s no place like home
So do like the Romans do, when you’re in Rome.

A stitch in time is a stitch indeed
The garden’s green when it’s full of weed
Two’s company, one’s a crowd
Every silver lining has its own cloud.
Children should be neither seen nor heard
It’s the early worm that gets the bird.

When the cat’s away, don’t play with the mice
Don’t do as I did, that’s my advice.
I left him to die- it’s better that way
plus it was time for match of the day.

Life is a fruit cake
Life is a fruit cake
But the currants never run
born in solitude under the gooseberry bush
Eyes full of apples
And dreams of satsumas
Jobs are a plum
But your coveted motors turn to lemons
And your wages are peanuts
And unnoticed on the pavements
Bananas lie in wait
Sending forth raspberries
For the unwary
and the illegal cherry pickers of life’s more fruity moments
who say they couldn’t give a fig
and soon you find that grapes are sour and sing with wrath
Life is a bowl of fruit
Still life out of my loins
My love’s a peach that I dare not eat
Another fruit forbidden
My past was in an orange
But my future is formed like a pear
A date with destiny beckons
And I watch the hirsute scarecrow man
Go solemnly across the fields of straw
Straightening his black beret and
Weaving round and round the mulberry houses
I’ve not had my fill of summer fruit

I met God in a garden
Cold and afraid, I met God in a garden
I bent down to admire a daisy
But God snatched it away
I paused to watch a bee gather pollen
And it stung me on my thumb
I called out in pain and I heard God
Laughing all the way to the bank
Where the wild time blows
i prayed ‘please God let me be safe in here’
And I was mugged as I crossed the road outside.

Cold and afraid I met the Devil in a graveyard
He brought me a glass of claret
And a blanket to cover my chilblains
What’s the catch? I asked
There’s no catch, the devil replied
I’m just here to comfort you
Your wish is my command
And if you need any advice
Just give me a shout
I’m puzzled, I said, I’m confused
I don’t know which way to turn
The devil winked
It’s your bed, so you can lie in it
If you can take the cold, you can stay in the fridge
And when pull comes to tug
It makes no difference.
We all meet up in the end.

I meet Death
Yesterday I came face to face with death
Up close and personal
I said ‘Death, to be perfectly honest, I’d rather be down, distant and distinctly anonymous
Death laughed
‘and to be imperfectly dishonest, what?’ he said
‘because dishonesty is no poblem as far as I am concerned’
yesterday i came eye ball to eyeball with death
first thing I didn’t know who it was
let us spend some time together the old fellow said
you just want me for my body I sallied
that’s true said death, then what else is there?
‘come away with me on a journey to where light is dark and dark is light’
‘been there, done that, bought the tee shirt’ i swiftly quipped
‘good, that’s just as well’ Death grinned
‘but since you’re into fashion, I can give you something to die for’
‘you know what I mean’ I said in a fury
‘I need you like I need a hole in the head’
death gently took my hand
‘now there’s a thought’ softly to himself he said
‘death you’re a waste of space’ I raged
‘now you’re right there’, death replied
‘waste’, that’s my middle name and ‘space my second nature’ death said.
Come on now, you’re looking like death reheated
what do you expect, I countered
And anyway it’s warmed up
‘Cool up or warm down’ it all comes to the same . said Death
if i’d known you were coming ‘I’d have danced and drunk like there was no tomorrow’ i complained
death looked puzzled
‘please’ he said ‘what is that- tomorrow?’
Are you serious I asked?
Dead serious he replied
‘But come’, said Death. ‘let us spend some time together’
‘Give me a break’, I said.’ with you I would not be seen dead’
Death smiled, ‘Well, must be off, be seeing you, so long’
‘yes, adieu, or rather au revoir’, I said
‘Bye for now’, said death ‘and, oh, do take care’.

Kiss of death
what is it like the kiss of death?
is it soft, like a feather on silk
does it brush lightly, as an oak leaf glides to the forest floor
or is it the peck of a beak, swiftly struck,
an instant inoculation against the turmoil of life?
are you consumed in a cauldron of passion
or is it distracted, one eye on the clock?
is it snatched furtively in the blink of an eye
or brazenly trumpeted high in the sky?
does it slurp as it stifles you
or laser like cut you in two?
Do your tongues intertwine in a reckless embrace
or is it a perfunctory sniff as cheek brushes face?
is it stolen in stealth by a predatory thief
or open arm welcomed with joyful relief?
sooner or later, in a manner of speaking,I’ll know.
sooner or even sooner is another manner of speaking.

Sometimes I wish I was dead
Sometimes I wish I was dead
But moslty I’m glad that I’m not
It’s not that it fills me with dread
Though I can’t say I’m dying to rot
No, it’s not what you are that gets to my head
The trouble is what you are not.

Talk to me
talk to me of love
and I will show you a mirror
talk to me of freedom and democracy
and I will show you a dollar bill
tell me about god
and i’ll say ‘listen to the thunder’
tell me about death
and i’ll say ‘now we’re talking’.

The meaning of life
Yesterday morning I was pondering the meaning of life
when my shoe lace came undone
in the afternoon i was dwelling on the imminence of death
when a sparrow did its droppings on my window sill
this morning i thought i had solved the riddle of the universe
when the door bell rang.
it was the milkman. he hadn’t been paid for 2 weeks

Time gentlemen please
Time gentlemen please
Drink up and be on your way
you’ve all had a chance of some fun
now there’s a law to obey

some of you folks is plastered
and some’ve had nowt to drink
but that’s all the same to me
I don’t have to stop and think

Some of you’d like to linger
but when I say go you go
and it’s no use complaining either
cos the landlord only says no.

some of you’ve got a home to go to
least, that’s what you suppose to be true
some are still scared of what’s out in the dark
but the law’s the law for teetotallers too.

some of you say it’s not fair
so let me tell you just this
none of you know for certain
when it’s time to give your last kiss

On the death of my dog
They said ‘he was only a dog,
and it’s a dog’s life as you know,
get yourself another one that’s the best thing to do’.
‘he’s only a dog’ they said
So that’s alright isn’t it?

They said ‘he is only asleep,
he’s fine really, lying like sleeping dogs lie,
he knows no pain, and nothing can hurt him’
‘he’s only asleep’ they said
So that’s alright isn’t it?

They said he was lucky to have been so happy,
content in his manger with his biscuits and bones,
and all good things come to an end don’t they? remember his happiness they said.
So that’s alright isn’t it?

They said ‘he’s in some canine heaven, his little soul is at peace, he knows life’s but an illusion and death’s sting is nothing to dread.
you know we all travel this journey sometime, they said.
So that’s alright isn’t it?

No it bloody isn’t alright. It isn’t bloody right at all.
He doesn’t want to be in heaven, he wants to be here, running after his ball.
He doesn’t want his soul to be resting in peace, he wants his mouth to clamour for more.
He says screw this lying here and rotting, I want to chase cats through the grass
I’m up to here with illusions, just give me a bone I can gnaw into dust
No, it isn’t all bloody right for him
And it’s not, I might add, for me.


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