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. 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.
by Wendy Haynes
THIS HUMAN BODY IS crafted from trillions of cells that live until they’re spent 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; 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, who becomes a toddler, a teen, a young adult, a parent… All the forms we may wear in a lifetime are in flux ad infinitum.
Life moves through beings.
Humans, animals, plants—grow
Roots entwined. Breathe slow.
THROUGHOUT THAT LIFE, inner constellations—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. And despite the ceaseless change, and the tendency of all forms toward disintegration, we live as if we’ll 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, memories corroding. The impermanence of being here—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.
The Poetry Slam Version 2022