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Jan 05 2009

The Worms Go In

PZ reports on an email he received recently… which you can read all about for yourself if you like–it’s not really my topic today. Just one tiny comment she made struck me, and made me feel sorry for her. “… I reckon I’d be a pretty miserable, angry person with a chip on my shoulder if I also believed that I was no more than worm meat at the end of the day.” Poor woman.

When we are dead, we’ll feed the worms
And other stuff that writhes and squirms
And if you cannot come to terms
With that—well, use your head!
There are no ifs nor ands nor buts:
Bacteria within our guts
Will start to eat us; that is what’s
In store, once we are dead.

Yes, life is short and full of toil,
And when we’ve shuffled off this coil
Our carcasses will start to spoil—
There’s nothing wrong with that.
Our share of fish or pigs or cows,
And all the chicken time allows,
Is done. It’s only fair that now’s
The worms’ turn to get fat.

Should we die young, or old and gray,
The laws of nature we’ll obey
And spend our heat in mere decay,
Replenishing the Earth;
“Three score and twelve” may be our years
For love and laughter, hope and fears
And then—mere smoke—life disappears;
No heaven, no rebirth.

And with no heaven up above
Nor hell we ought be frightened of
It’s best we fill our lives with love,
With learning, and with fun!
Don’t waste a lifetime while you wait
For halo, wings, and pearly gate—
This is your life, so get it straight:
You only get the one!

I’ll have no moment lost to prayer,
To cleanse my soul and thus prepare
For passage to… THERE’S NOTHING THERE!
Those moments, all, are wasted!
I’m only here a little time
Before it’s bugs and worms and slime;
I’ll eat and drink my life so I’m
Delicious when I’m tasted!

8 comments

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  1. 1
    Blake Stacey

    What did Dorothy Parker say? Ah, yes: It costs me never a stab nor squirmTo tread by chance upon a worm.”Aha, my little dear,” I say,”Your clan will pay me back one day.”

  2. 2
    Ryoga M

    I’ve posted this poem with a link at my blog. I hope that is okay. Please tell me if it is not.

  3. 3
    Podblack

    Heh, you are very tasty, DC! :p

  4. 4
    Bob O'Hara

    The National Anthem of the People’s Republic of Yorkshire points out that being eaten by worms is just the first part of the process of serving one’s fellow man.

  5. 5
    Cuttlefish

    As does Hamlet:”A man may fish with the worm that hath eat of a king, and eat of the fish that hath fed of that worm.”IV.iii.30-31

  6. 6
    mandydax

    Lovely. I couldn’t help but hear it being sung by Tom Lehrer in my head, though. :D

  7. 7
    Cuttlefish

    I can’t think of a bigger compliment, Mandydax!

  8. 8
    Cath@VWXYNot?

    Nicely done, Bob, I heartily approve (even though I was only bred in Yorkshire, not born there).

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