Death Comes For Us All

For dVerse Poets Pub, MTB where the theme is repetition.  I have closed this poem with a classic haiku written for my cousin Billy who lost his battle with lung cancer yesterday.

Death Comes For Us All
“Maybe that’s enlightenment enough: to know that there is no final resting place of the mind, no moment of smug clarity. Perhaps wisdom … is realizing how small I am, and unwise, and how far I have yet to go.” Anthony Bourdain

Seasons change – green leaves touched by frost
change color and fall from the trees.
Flowers fade, tomato plants wilt and die.
Death comes for us all.
my mother died two years ago,
my best friend committed suicide two years ago,
my dear friend died last June from suicide,
My cat died –
My cousin Billy died from lung cancer yesterday –
A litany of death.
Death comes for us all.
One after one after one.
The woods are filled with layers of dead leaves,
rotten branches, dried moss,
the carcass of a squirrel.
Death comes for us all.
One day…
Death comes for us all.
fall’s chill breezes blow
making the leaves shiver –
stars fall from the sky


If you or someone you know is struggling with depression or has had thoughts of harming themselves or taking their own life, get help. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255) provides 24/7, free, confidential support for people in distress, as well as best practices for professionals and resources to aid in prevention and crisis situations.

25 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)
    Oct 25, 2018 @ 16:17:05

    So much death…so sorry for you, yet it’s something that always come sooner or later, but we are never never ready I think…


  2. sarahsouthwest
    Oct 25, 2018 @ 16:19:21

    Ah, Toni, such a sad poem. I’m so sorry for your losses. This is a beautiful meditation on the transience of life. Bittersweet.


  3. Linda Kruschke
    Oct 25, 2018 @ 16:23:12

    A poignant reminder. Death does, indeed, come to us all. It is particularly sad when it comes too soon because there’s been a loss of hope and a too-deep despair.


  4. Glenn Buttkus
    Oct 25, 2018 @ 16:26:33

    Sending you hugs and white light, exorcising sadness like a pesky demon. I would like to believe that Death has a kind face as well, one that some of us will welcome when it comes time for our transition…yet, yet, you have had more than your share of late. Enough, I say. There will warm rays and sunshine and rainbows by the bundle for you in 2019.


    • kanzensakura
      Oct 25, 2018 @ 17:03:56

      Thank you Glenn. I realize that a certain age, we see our loved ones, our friends dying, one by one. Yet I agree. It is too much of late. Death I am sure was welcome for Billy who suffered so deeply as did my mother I wonder about my friends who committed suicide. I wonder if it was truly welcome in the end.


  5. jillys2016
    Oct 25, 2018 @ 16:41:20

    Very powerful and this “One after one after one.” is excellent.


  6. revivedwriter
    Oct 25, 2018 @ 16:45:56

    Haunting line, “a litany of death”


  7. Jane Dougherty
    Oct 25, 2018 @ 16:54:30

    Even the stars. Keep watching them. The rest is ephemera.


  8. Frank Hubeny
    Oct 25, 2018 @ 17:39:38

    I am sorry to hear about your friend’s suicide. Best wishes.


  9. Grace
    Oct 25, 2018 @ 18:16:31

    Sorry to read about this Toni. I have a long list myself and it will surely come for us all in due time. Hugs to you.


  10. Arcadia Maria
    Oct 25, 2018 @ 18:47:43

    A haunting piece. Nicely written.


  11. V.J. Knutson
    Oct 25, 2018 @ 20:38:41

    So much loss. It has been this way in my family too. Tragic when grief becomes norm.


  12. Dorianna Ric (paint-it-poetry)
    Oct 25, 2018 @ 20:42:17

    Sorry for your loss. Poignant words and so true. As I age and lose friends and relatives it is hard at times not to be angry especially knowing my time in getting at hand.


  13. kim881
    Oct 26, 2018 @ 04:06:11

    Such a a sad poem, Toni. I think when we reach a certain age we know that friends and loved ones will pass away but it’s still a shock when it happens. I’m so sorry that you’ve had so many losses in the space of a couple of years.


  14. Vivian Zems
    Oct 26, 2018 @ 05:41:11

    Apt! Death does indeed come for us all. I’m ever so sorry for your loss, Toni 😦


  15. Gina
    Oct 26, 2018 @ 09:08:16

    thank you for writing this and remembering those we have lost, I am sorry that death has visited so often in the past few years Toni. death visits all of us eventually but for the living the waiting can be so excruciating when our loved one has gone too soon.


  16. Pat: willow88switches
    Oct 26, 2018 @ 20:04:42

    I’m so sorry for your most recent loss Toni. And certainly, these past few years have been more than difficult in terms of so many who have left and your grief, pain and sorrow. But I think your poem speaks with honour, and a great amount of respect – for Life. It speaks with a truth that offers a gentle acceptance, and somehow, I feel, that for as difficult as all of this has been, you are walking within it all with tremendous grace, despite wondering about an end to suffering etc. especially when it comes to those who took they own lives. Sometimes, for all the unrest this leaves in its wake, often, the sheer determination of those who have, has provided them with peace and closure; it is us, left behind, who are shattered, and who still fight for the shock and loss.


  17. lynn__
    Oct 26, 2018 @ 20:48:31

    Wisdom considers that “death comes for us all”…too true and suicides are the saddest of all. My sympathy to you, Toni. May you find comfort in your grief.


  18. Frank J. Tassone
    Oct 27, 2018 @ 19:09:56

    “Do not ask for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee…”

    and yet, “Love is stern as death…”

    a profound meditation on our collective end. Vividly rendered. My sympathy, again, for your loss.


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