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Dust unto Dust

The briny tears have dried
The sounding knells are stilled
The grieving crowd, dispersed
The parting pain, allayed

Benumbed lie the dead
Beneath the marble vaults
Bereft of power and prowess
Benighted and beaten.

The sun shall never cast its glorious rays
The stars shall never their brilliance shed
The breeze never shall bring tidings new
The showers shall no more drench them through

A thoughtful friend sometimes seen around
A fervent prayer at times chanted aloud
A plaited wreath, rarely laid over
A trite rite, randomly carried out

There's none left to mourn or weep
Nor anyone to sing, sigh or sob
Leaving the dead to rot in the closure of graves
To life's alluring charms, the dear depart.

Cold as clay the dead lie so still
To be feasted on by maggots and the worms
Life with all its glory - defunct
Its fever and fret too - extinct.

How in vain we run after wealth
The power and position we deem so great
Shall come to naught within Time's gloomy vault
Yet we run and yet we straggle behind.

In vain ends our travail for might
Inglorious is our quest after fame
Transient turn the riches, we garner
Short lived is their gleam and glitter.

Oh Lord! Lead us not into illusory charms
Deliver us of our avarice to hoard
For all that is born and made
‘Must consign to death and come to dust.'

Submitted: Sunday, July 22, 2012
Edited: Sunday, July 22, 2012

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Comments about this poem (A Journey to Bethlehem by Valsa George )

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  • Yash Shinde (4/11/2014 11:51:00 PM)

    .....What shortens the length of my comment is the fact that it will take time for me to decipher this one.! ! ....... :)
    .......But I agree deeply with you Valsa, Life is too short to run after riches and to covet for wealth,, poor are reduced to dust and consumed by maggots alike, ........the key to attain eternity is to leave after u your values and legacy......................
    ....................But surely a spray of HIT, may prevent the infestation of those creepy maggots! .......: -)

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    0 person did not like.
  • Valsa George (12/8/2013 10:37:00 AM)

    Are you scared of coakroaches, Zaynub? I don't think they are there! ! There are only maggots and worms! ! May be some centipedes in the crevices of the ditch! ! Nice company! !

  • S.zaynub Kamoonpuri (12/8/2013 10:26:00 AM)

    Wow yes i admire yor first 2 stanzas in d whole true to life n death poem. And u end it on a fab didactic poetic note. I hope there r no coakroaches in d grave. :)

  • Kanniappan Kanniappan (8/3/2013 1:00:00 PM)

    Mind and body trembling when I read this poem.
    Oh Lord! Lead us not into illusory charms
    Deliver us of our avarice to hoard
    For all that is born and made
    ‘Must consign to death and come to dust.'
    It is true.
    Recently I went to a destitute home 'St.Joseph's Hospices' where nearly 350 males and females stay, abandoned by their family. every week nearly 4- 5 persons die and last rites done by prayer and kept in a mortuary like space nearly 45 in 3 rows and 9 columns. Later the remains are disposed.

  • Smoky Hoss (8/3/2013 11:39:00 AM)

    Depth and beauty combined perfectly to express a very powerful poem. Well done indeed.

  • Lyn Paul (8/3/2013 6:40:00 AM)

    Dear Valsa this is an excellent write. One I must save. We are fortunate to have the choice of a mausoleum, an expensive choice but no worms. A burial perhaps with the maggots and worms but without this there would not be the serene peace of the cemeteries, the history and the feeling of being, knowing you are in a powerful shrine. Then of course ashes to ashes are on many a mantelpiece, in the cupboard and some still in the Funeral home. My choice is a cremation then thrown out to sea on a day trip with the family, boating, music and champagne. We are all knocking on heavens door eventually. Thank you

  • Patricia Newman (8/3/2013 5:21:00 AM)

    A very thought provoking and beautifully written poem.

  • Jack Growden (8/3/2013 3:20:00 AM)

    Excellent poem! PLEASE READ MY COLLECTION! I am a young, aspiring poet and hence all feedback is welcomed. Feel free to rate and comment as you wish. Thanks!

  • Pradip Chattopadhyay (8/3/2013 2:45:00 AM)

    a brilliantly penned elegy!

  • Doug Bentley (4/23/2013 1:44:00 AM)

    As a brief meditation on death this poem can stand beside any in the language. it's as simple as that.

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