The Impermanence of Being Here

The Impermanence of Being Here—this was my first choice that I performed at the Bellingen Readers and Writers Poetry Slam 2022.

My first ever poetry performance, my first ever poetry slam.  I know that may sound strange given that I’ve read lots of poetry at lots of ceremony and for many it is performing— however the slam was performance plus. Here is the story of how I got to be there.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get a recording of the night but have recorded one at home. It’s not the same energy as on the night however I hope you enjoy it. Please leave your comments below!  More death poems yet to come. It is time, I think, to start a Death Poet’s Society!


A Haibun—a string of prose and haiku.

The Impermanence of Being Here

by Wendy Haynes


THIS HUMAN BODY IS crafted from trillions of cells that courageously live and die. The normal dying of a cell is truly a blessing or there would be no space between the fingers or toes, no space in the tunnel of the ear or worse still, the breathing passages of the nose would close. Seriously deadly. Our cells slip through our fingers—living and dying with no effort, no celebration, no tears.

We come and we go

Death is our life companion

Thousands of leaves fall

THERE IS AN INNATE INTELLIGENCE to this skin covered form—intricate systems, cycles and transformations. The miraculous conception, the first cell budding to a foetus where the death of cells helps sculpt tissues into—a baby, toddler, teen, young adult—all the forms that we have worn throughout this lifetime are in flux ad infinitum.

Life moves through beings

Humans, animals, plants—grow

Roots entwined breathe slow

OUR INNER CONSTELLATIONS of beauty and vulnerability, pain and strength, joy and sadness, confusion and clarity—appear like stars at night and fade in the morning light. We shapeshift through moments and memories. Despite the ceaseless change, we live as if we will live forever.

Stories come and go

Adventures, joys, disasters

Tree limbs on the ground

OUR ANCESTORS gone for centuries—ashes to earth, roots in the ground, stars shooting far- distant, forgotten memories. The impermanence of being here—no matter they win the poetry slam or have a star named after them—human bodies don’t last forever. Here lies our freedom—to celebrate this precious, beautiful and challenging life that is ours to live—to embrace living and dying in every moment—before we die.

Day and night—breathing

Oh Grace, what a miracle

Small stars shining bright

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Geraldine Hughes
Geraldine Hughes
4 months ago

Holy holy holy dear Wendy, I love the way you think and I admire you! I am thrilled to have found you. Peace and vitality, Geraldine

Diane Paludi
Diane Paludi
4 months ago

Thank you Wendy. As always you are a shining light 💖