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A Walk With Death

I had originally intended to write a humorous Hallowe'en poem but as always once I started the words took me somewhere else entirely.


A Walk with Death


A Walk With Death
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One night death, woke up early

and feeling rather sad and surly,

decided that he’d had enough

of taking souls and all that stuff.


So he donned his cloak, picked up his scythe

and wandered to the other side

where he stood upon the edge

of death and life and life and death.


A no-man’s land where souls did wait

for higher powers to decide their fate,

lost and aimless in the grey,

wishing they could find a way.

But none of this was deaths concern,

for he had to choose ‘should he return -

back to the comfort of the night

or brave the day and choose the light?


Then while death pondered his position

a shaft of light, angelic precision,

cast itself upon the ground

and there upon the earth death found…

A path to take him through the grey

and lead him to the break of day,

Death saw the sun and felt it’s heat

and dropped his cloak about his feet.


Where upon to his surprise

he found that he had wings inside,

to walk the night as was his lot

had been so long, that he’d forgot.


So, feather by feather, he unfurled

then up into the sky he hurled,

his body now it felt so free

into the blue and ecstasy.


Death soared over mountains with peaks so high

their sparkling white pierced the sky,

He swooped down hills purple and green

round rocky ridges and through ravines.


He crossed sandy desserts - red and gold

fields of ice - glittering – cold.

Oceans and seas of startling blue,

so much beauty - he never knew.


And soon death wondered what he might find,

if he spent some time with Human kind,

so Death flew down, to land on earth

to see what man had given birth.


Death walked and walked, saw many things

ancient ruins, seats of kings,

skyscrapers that touched the sky

shanty towns and then wondered why –


Some humans clung-on to all the wealth,

while others lived among the filth?

Surely that could not be right

but then all Death knew was ‘the night’.


Then suddenly an almighty explosion

shocked death so much his feet were frozen

and while the world came crashing down

Death stood in the ashes on the ground


Screams and crying filled his ears

and for the first time Death felt fear

but by a tree a small child stood

and Death could see that she was good.


She smiled at him and took his hand,

then lead him safely through the land

of guns and bombs, of insurrection,

of tanks and war and mass destruction.


And as they walked she called out to others

of every creed and every colour,

to join the line of little feet

and lead them safely through the streets…


Passed broken schools, parks and museums,

Churches, graveyards, mausoleums,

temples, mosques and synagogues,

factories, shops and office blocks.


All destroyed and laid to rubble

as a result of mankind’s troubles.

and death wept in war’s wake

for all the souls he’d have to take.


But the child shook her head and squeezed his fingers

there was no time for death to linger,

for the sun was setting on the day

and Death needed to be on his way.


And while they walked the children sang,

and in his heart Death felt a pang,

this choir of voices so true and pure

showed how human kind learned to endure.


Through music, art and poetry

they soothed their souls of misery

and death could not fathom, nor understand

the double nature he found in man.


For in the past death did not see

man-kinds beauty or their tragedy.

Just the souls he had to take

so on the earth they would not wake.


But now Death noticed everything,

could hear the song a soul would sing,

of pain they’d caused, but also pleasure

sometimes both, in equal measure.


But now the day was nearly done,

death mourned the sinking of the sun

and while he wiped away his tears

the children began to disappear.


All but the one who’d held his hand

and lead them safely through the land.

Death tried to shoo the child away

But she would not leave, she had to stay.


That’s when death saw, with heavy heart

the sum of all her broken parts,

so he wrapped her gently in his cloak

and softly in her ear he spoke.

“It will be alright, I’ll keep you safe

I’ll take you to a better place.”

And holding tightly to her hand,

they both stepped into no man’s land.


And death knew - her time was near

but the child he held showed no fear,

her heart was bright and her feet were light

as he lead her gently through the night.


And as they walked she healed his soul

and in return, he made her whole,

until in the dark they saw a light

like an Angel burning bright.


And death knew he had to let her go

this golden child he’d come to know,

so gently he released her hand

and to her Mothers arms she ran.


Now when death walks through the night,

collecting souls who’ve lost the fight,

he weighs up their humanity

in peace and love and purity.

And if the measure comes out good

he shields them gently with his hood

and whispers softly in their ear

“It will be alright, have no fear,”


But if their measure turns out bad

a different path must be had

and in no man’s land they must wait

until something else decides their fate.




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5 Comments


Darrell Troon
Darrell Troon
Nov 06, 2023

Brilliantly written and performed, The weights and measures of our lives , only the reaper will decide.

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Nigel Smith
Nigel Smith
Nov 01, 2023

Nice one poet, we should call you 'the Lone Rhymer' cos you pop up, nail it, and are gone again leaving us to wonder 'who was that masked Poet!'

(not a Dig Ali, you keep goin!)

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Alison Blevins
Alison Blevins
Nov 02, 2023
Replying to

😂😂😂 I like the idea of having a mask but I’d quite like a cape too!

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Keith Trayling
Keith Trayling
Oct 31, 2023

love it , right up my street, simple but complex, a great story which ties up perfectly at the end.

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Alison Blevins
Alison Blevins
Nov 01, 2023
Replying to

Thank you Keith, I appreciate your comments and I'm glad you enjoyed it. I thought perhaps it was overly long but I couldn't work out a way to shorten it.

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