What Does Alive Mean?
Poem By Robin Pratt
My dog tears across the ground
digging perforations into the turf
his teeth grab the squirrel's back
He shakes his head viciously
and drops his prey
He stands and looks
his demeanour changes
the dying animal drains his ferocity
his tail drops
he feels the death coming
the squirrel heaves weakly
moves his legs
but his body is broken
I pick him up
no resistance he calms the end comes
his last breaths slow like a countdown
one moment he is alive
I can feel the life the energy giving him shape and form
a living creature and then the last breath is exhaled
and that is the end.
With that last breath everything stops
that is everything to do with life
the essence of the squirrel
now there are new processes to break the corpse into its base constituents
one minute a vibrant creature; the next carrion
I am struggling really hard
'What is alive? '
Because everything to do with existences depends on the machine operating
My heart beats, I breathe the machine runs
I live so I think, I feel, love and hate.
But when my machinery packs up
I no longer feel no longer think
so like the squirrel my last breath is the end
the end of existence
In that last moment my energy is transferred to the universe - GONE!
So when I die
I want to share that last moment with my family
so they can share my last moment, my last breath
and celebrate me joining the universe
and feel joy for my life the love we shared
and my joy to merge into that marvellous 13.5 billion years.
and then put me high on a wood frame and leave me to the vultures
I am done with my body goodbye.