Words to the Reaper

Words to the Reaper
by Maclean Patrick

Death is a friend,
He leans over when I stood alone,
That time at the beach, looking out to sea,
“Do you see the sunset?” Death asked;

“It’s the same everyday,” I replied,
Death smiled and placed a hand on my shoulder,
“True.”
Death smiles, a smile like that on a kabuki mask;

“You’re too depressive,” Death points out,
“The sun will set each day, the sun will rise,”
“You may see it, you may not,”
“But every sunset is different, every time;”

Depressive?
Look who’s talking, I entertain the thought;
“Easy for you to say. You’re not worried about dying,”
“True,” Death remarks, “Depends which side you stand on the line.”

“Line?”
“The line of life or death.”
“Why is that important?”
“Where you stand will determine how you live.”

Death rubs my back,
It’s an icy touch yet sublimely warm,
“Choose how you want to live, to live to die or die to live?”
“My friend, you can always choose what you need to believe…”

Short Story : The Silent Whisper

The Silent Whisper
by Maclean Patrick

The heat woke him up. It was 3 in the morning, not a good time to wake up for it will take him close to forever to go back to sleep. In this heat, it was better he stayed awake until dawn. But staying awake was not something he looked forward to.

Sitting up, he looked out the window. The city lights glowed in the horizon. There was still life at this hour, still people going about their business within the graveyard hour.

Midnight did not scare him. But 3am did.

It was the hour the Whispers came out. And as he wiped the sweat from his brow, he heard a whisper.

“Awake. You’re awake.”

He cup his hands over his ears. Closed his eyes and asked the heavens to spare him from the pain of entertaining this unwelcome visitor.

“No point hiding. You can hear me,” she said, her breath; cold against the back of his ear. “Do you have an answer for me?”

He bent over, head touching his knees as he sat; rocking slowly on his mattress.

“Go away,” he managed a weak protest.

“What is your answer?”

“Go away.”

“Answer me..”

“Go away.”

“You PROMISED me an answer tonight,” her chilly lips hovering closely over his fore-head.

She was bolder now. Invading what little private space he had left in his personal bubble. More demanding, more forceful in her request and she was not one to take “No” for an answer. Yet, tonight he had, had enough.

“No,” he finally spoke up.

“What?”

“No,” he lowered his trembling hands, his eyes still close. “My answer is no.”

“Don’t you want release?”

“Yes, but not like this.”

“Just take my offer.”

He shook his head from side to side as his rocking continued. He could feel her, just in front of him, watching him move, waiting for his reply.

“Yes, I am hurting. And everyday is another day of heart-ache and misery. And I’m barely coping from breath to breath. But dum spiro, spero. I’m still breathing, I’m still hoping. If you take me, it will not be like this. I’ll let destiny take me, fate set the clock. Sorry, but you just have to wait.”

There was a silent whisper. A word spoken, yet unheard. He felt her breath as she mouthed a phrase that went pass him and then she was no more. Gone into the night and he knew he was alone, again, in the room.

He cried.

It was 3am, the darkest time of the night and the silent form was returning empty-handed. Her colleagues had more luck. Returning with the Damned. Returning with those whom had replied, “Yes.” They lifted the wretched souls like ragged dolls, jeering at her for she had nothing in hand. She snarled back at them, “I’ll have him. It’s just a matter of time. He’ll break and I’ll bring him back with me. Death always wins in the end.”

About Life and Death

I’ve been away since Saturday to attend to a family funeral.

It has given me a chance to reflect on the frailty of life and the eminence of death. How death is a constant reminder to us, that life is for the living and life should be lived to the fullest.

At the same time as I was thinking through these themes, I was also “advised” by a group of people over some matters I am trying to put behind me. I could have easily chosen to react in anger and bitterness and hatred but I’ve come to accept the fact – some people will never see things the way you do. And when all the dust has settled, the most important opinion is the one you hold within you. The opinion you subscribe to.

Life is too short to entertain matters that hold you back from living life as it is. Must I apologize for having to live my life the way it is now? When all accounts, I have in the past and future, will be made to my Creator?

I stood among tombstones on Monday, and took in the silence, the tranquility of life at its end and it appealed to me. The thought that life’s end is nothing to fear but to accept was strangely inviting. And it dawned on me, that it is not death we must fear; it is living. The fear of NOT living. It is a state, worse then death. It is a fear, perpetuated by external views, religious fervor,  social norms, racial divides, hurts, bitterness, lies, promises, vows…it is a fear of where one stops living and starts dying prematurely.

I end with the words from Rumi :

A stone I died and rose again a plant;
A plant I died and rose an animal;
I died an animal and was born a man.
Why should I fear? What have I lost by death?

Alexander McQueen – RIP. It didn’t have to be this way.


(CNN) — The death of British fashion designer Alexander McQueen has drawn a veil of sadness over the first day of New York City Fashion Week.

As word spread Thursday morning that McQueen had been found dead in his London apartment, many heralded McQueen as a visionary who, at age 40, died too young.

“It’s the most tragic, tragic loss for our industry,” said Michelle Stein, the U.S. president of the Aeffe Group, which owns fashion labels Jean Paul Gaultier, Alberta Ferretti and Moschino. “He was so young and so talented. It is unbelievable.”

Full Article: Fashion world reacts to McQueen’s passing

I was pointed to this bit of news by a friends’ post on Face Book.

I’ve a little eye for fashion and one of the trends that has stuck out lately has been the low-cut jeans for ladies, where sometimes the crack of the buttocks is visible.

The inventor of that look – Alexander McQueen.

It’s sad that when an icon such as Alexander McQueen pass on, his works come to light and the accolades pour in. He was iconoclastic. A trend-setter. Yet he was emotional and sensitive and it seems; depressive too. He passed on, nine (9) days after the passing of his own mother.

Yesterday, I blogged about my own struggle with depression and today I am further reminded, that in taking our own lives we cut short the life of a genius. We are all geniuses in our own rights and levels. We create something new everyday and impact the world we live in, regardless the measure.

It’s doesn’t matter whether you design for the catwalk and set trends, or struggling to get your books out into the market, or wonder why you are selling ice-boxes to eskimos; you are impacting the world around you.

For myself, I cope with my depressive state; I am an arse with people, stubborn and heartless at times. I’m stiff-necked, arrogant, bashful, eccentric, annoying; but I am still here.

It would be so easy for me to take a leap off a bridge, or drink bleach, or in-hale carbon-monoxide; just to end my misery.

Yet, I stuck to being that annoying guy who continues to be a jerk around most people. People may not understand you, but don’t end it all because of that. People may have left you, but don’t end it because of that.

Jerk, or lame, or bore; the world would be a quiet place, without you.

RIP Alexander McQueen, the fashion world is a quiet, dull place; without you.