Sunday, April 25, 2021



The opposite of death isn’t just life.

It’s a hovering hummingbird’s elastic nest

Tethered together with spider silk threads.

It’s rowing until I’m out of breath,

Pulling and reaching, pulling and reaching

When all I have to do is stop.

It’s the sponginess of a lawn

After an April deluge and the winter melt.

It’s like walking over thin ice

While pretending you’re weightless,

Each step a hesitant trespass

Onto an expanse of cloudy glass.

It’s never stopping, continuous motion

The illusion of the blur of wings

Filling in all the empty spaces,

Making circles of light in the darkness

With our Fourth of July sparklers.  

The opposite of death

Is just the moment you catch your breath

While the opposite of life is that stack

Of unread New Yorkers rising from my desk.

It’s running out of time,

It’s forgetting to pick up flowers,

Forgetting to email you back.

It’s chalking up your loneliness 

To the whims of being misunderstood.

It’s a stop-action photo 

Of a hummingbird in mid flight,

The Great White who succumbs

To stillness just before it sinks.

The opposite of life is everything 

That doesn’t happen but should.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I like this poem more every time I read it. I’m striving to live a life that is the true opposite of death, fully embracing the ride, diving deep into love and the goodness this existence has to offer. There’s not enough time to simply be undead. We are more than zombies plodding through our days! Thanks for writing!