art by Joseph Fernandes
Multitude of souls have gathered,

at edges of the "Megacosm"(1).

Whimpering and clamoring,

at the shores of the "Mortem"(2).

Souls of sovereigns, Souls of tyrants,

Souls of plebeians and vagrants.

Souls of felons, souls of innocents,

Souls of wrinkly and infants.

Souls of promiscuous, souls of virtuous,

Souls of beauteous and hideous.

Souls of pious, Souls of blasphemers,

Souls of clergy and undertakers.

To the distant horizon,

they fix their conscripted gaze.

Bewitched and bewildered,

by her ineluctable glaze.

"Faithful lover", to the emancipated,

"Ethereal beauty", to a life satiated.  

But the infatuated dread the "grotesque hag",

ugly dame with scythe and a pile to brag.

Hauled to her embellished vessel,

hesitant or wiling they swim without a wrestle.

She scoops them up tenderly

in her motherly impartial embrace.

Ferries them all to the eternal slumber,

void of pain, prejudice, suffering and disgrace.

Reference :

1. "Megacosm": The entire world; the universe. In this context the human perceivable universe.
2. "Mortem" : Death in latin.

3 thoughts on “Death

  1. This is great, Joe. You’re a talented artist!

    A couple of things struck me: 1) I don’t know why, but in most mythology that I am aware of, Death tends to be depicted as male… your female Death made me reflect upon that. 2) ‘motherly’ and ‘impartial’ are not two words that I tend to think of together… you also made me reflect upon what sort of character your Death is.



    • Thanks David for the showers of praise.

      1. Death is a female protagonist in my poem, and the reason is that, might be subconsciously, I was inspired by a song from a 1978 Bollywood movie. The name of the movie is “Muqaddar Ka Sikandar” (

      “The Conqueror(referring to Alexander the Great) of the Fate/Destiny”. Sikandar = Alexander the Great, Muqadddar = the Fate/Destiny.

      The title emphasizes on the greatness of the person who conquerors the unconquerable Fate/Destiny.

      Now, the “Antara” (the paragraphs in the middle of song which follows the chorus/”Mukda”) of the song goes like this,

      zindagi to bewafa hai ek din thukrayegi (2)

      Life is promiscuous, she will one day abandon/kick you.

      maut mehbooba hai apne saath lekar jayegi

      Death is the faithful lover, who will take you with her.

      mar ke jeene ki ada jo duniya ko sikhlayega

      One who teaches the world the art of “living after death”,

      wo muqaddar ka sikandar janeman kehelaayega

      is person who will be called the “Conqueror/Alexander of the Fate/Destiny”

      The song is sung by the great singer, Kishore Kumar and the actor is the bollywood legend Mr. Amitabh Bachchan.

      Full Song :
      (must watch 🙂 )

      2. Yes I agree! Mothers cannot be impartial 🙂 The very selfish love towards her child makes her partial/selfish towards others, Irony i suppose.
      But in this case, the act of embracing is motherly but death herself is impartial. Death is not the mother here.

      PS: It’s a funny and interesting coincidence that your pen name is “ben Alexander”, “Son of Sikandar” 🙂


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