Death's memento mori

Death's memento mori

A Poem by Muse

Thank you Rick for helping me with this revision.





























As a young child on a Sunday morning, I remember the preacher man saying:
"God help the soul that refuses to drink from the blood of the lamb!"
You were born into this world as nothing more than a dirty thumbprint."
"God will spit, WIPE, and then you're gone........................"
I'm 33 now, trying to live life as a non-believer.
The bible thumping left a bad taste in my mouth.
This gives me peace, to not be wrapped up in scripture.
If I don't believe in God, then there must be no HELL.
I never saw the bullet coming, I just remember running!
I cradled my head as my mortality dripped with red.
And then I saw him, like a thief in the night. 
God help me, what a hideous site!
Death's memento mori, he mocked me in his decay,
his shadowed hands eclipsing my verve.
Expired......I began to see the dead; feel the unheard.
My vital force, displaced in his world, I awoke.
I stood to behold, Death's wealthy estate,
material goods and souls without fate.
All of this merchandised, and shelved with a date
Then suddenly.........
he gave out a SHOUT!
"Choose" he said. 
"But choose wisely!"
He began to showcase before me
an interesting meal, hot off an offering plate.
A devil's pact seasoned with silver and gold
representing the covenant, waiting to be sold.
And this is what I saw:
A tree of life
sprouting images of fear.
An offer of exchange:
one more year of MY life

for my daughter of eight

A return to earth
as a paralytic, mute
and deaf in my ears.
Death seemed annoyed, as I turned in disgust.
Feeling desperate now, my eyes wondered over to a 
carpenter's cup covered in time, covered in dust.
Thirsty and dry.............I began to cry.
"Can I see?"
"May I drink?" 
Death handed over his "mirage" of a cup.
Inside I saw many visions; the sacrifice of the living Christ.
Wine prepared and shared at the last supper. 
I could see the sacrificial lamb.
I could see the fountain of life. 
I was about to take a sip when Death said,
"It's too late to drink from this cup!"
He grabbed it away.................
"Pick your plate."
"You had your chance!"
"You're mine now!"
"Eat up!"

© 2014 Muse

Author's Note

I have Rick Puetter to thank for this rewrite. He tore this poem apart with love, and dared me to be bolder with the message. I don't care what your religious beliefs are. I wrote this to envoke a certain kind of fear. Despite all our many differences, fear of death is something we can all relate too.

My Review

Would you like to review this Poem?
Login | Register

Featured Review

yes, it is ironic...we can claim a disbelief in a supreme heaven and hell...but as death draws nearer...even as we age and see the possibility of our mortality..

there comes this fear we cannot always explain..but we know what it is don't we.

this is a terrific write..a terrific battle between good and evil...and between belief and atheism.


Posted 5 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


5 Years Ago

it shows that Rick has character.
jacob erin-cilberto

5 Years Ago

yes, it does.

5 Years Ago

he's not on my friend's list anymore...his intellegence, way over my head. But..I respect him.


This is a full bed of writing, very well penned and well of thought deep emotion flows from this heartfelt writing - You did well - Rick is a great man. Wonderful.

Posted 6 Years Ago

Still an amazing write...............I for one believe there is always hope, it may be too late for things to work out the way we planned but it is never too late for them to work out as they were meant to. We have two choices we can look at all the pain and suffering around us and say who would allow this to happen or we can look around at all the miracles that happen every single day and be ever so thankful. I for one have been able to see the miracle that came from the tragic loss of someone. That miracle is me continuing on and never going back to who and what I was before. Long winded here sorry.............Fabulous write.

Posted 6 Years Ago

Wonderful work! This is so creative :)
Truly amazing!
Great work!

Posted 6 Years Ago

The glaring imagery and no nonsense woring almost makes the reader more relaxed about the message at hand, well done, good read.

Posted 6 Years Ago

Dear Muse,

Wow! I need to take another breath, so please excuse me....

People will have to re-review this, as this is a new and more powerful rewrite. Given the wonderful reception before, I can only imagine how this will be received now.

This is such a wonderful rewrite. Such expansion of the power of this piece. The added text in the introduction so beautifully prepares the reader for what comes next.

And the text is tight. So much tighter than before. Your words have your hands about the reader's neck, feeling the pulse at their jugular.

I so much appreciate your efforts to expand this piece. It was such a powerful piece before, but now it is captivating, holding the readers at the edge of their seats. The ending is wonderful. You keep the readers hoping for resolution, for salvation, but you leave them hanging, dangling at the end of the hangman's noose with no respite. Yes this is life--it is about choosing wisely!

Highest marks. My friends know how rarely I give a 98% rating. I've never given higher. This gets, and fully deserves, a 98% rating. In my scoring scheme 100% is impossible since no poem is perfect. A 99% score I reserve for the poem whose words will leave me utterly blind. For this poem I've had to squint in the genuine fear of going blind from your words.

It was an honor to read this.

And oh, I didn't notice at first, but thank you for your kind words in the Author's Notes. I'm flattered, of course, but this was already such a fine piece. What else could someone with a love of fine poetry do but discuss the words with its author? This is one of the marvelous things that we can do on WC. We are all blessed with this privilege. It's one of the things that keeps me coming back to the WC. I thank you for your open mindedness and friendship! You are most generous and kind.

All the best, Dear Lady!


Posted 6 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

This makes the original feel PG-13. I really got the sensation of the spirit being devoured. I felt completely powerless. You have stepped it up to an entirely different level. I see the risk and rewards of pushing the envelope. *nods*

Posted 6 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Fascinating dream. Given the choice you chose the better yet your options were seized away immediately.

"A tree of life
sprouting with fear." Interesting image

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 6 Years Ago

Eerily brilliant, caught between dreamscapes
and reality, I love it!

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 6 Years Ago

Whoa...sorta like wow...
I too read it aloud and with dark-lit passion and elan..the way I believe you wrote it.
I loved the rhythm of the night and the dialogue woke me up..I was up, down and all around and was able to shake hands with death and survived to see another day..what could be better than that...........??? This poem
Great write, Beth

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 6 Years Ago

Request Read Request
Add to Library My Library
Subscribe Subscribe


65 Reviews
Shelved in 9 Libraries
Added on August 7, 2011
Last Updated on June 8, 2014
Tags: Death, Life, spiritual, lessons, decay, help, stories, poem, dark, light, fantasy, fiction, poetry
Previous Versions




You can follow me here: Buy me here: .. more..

Ours Ours

A Poem by Muse

Sugar and Sun Sugar and Sun

A Poem by Muse

Sacred Text Sacred Text

A Poem by Muse

Related Writing

People who liked this story also liked..