All….Just to Die

Adeyinka Adiatu October 20, 2011

We born to die…
Live…to die…
Sweat…to die…
Shed each other’s blood
To one day die ourselves
Determination set on living forever
Trying to forget that there is a definite end…
Ashes to ashes we come and go
An endless certain cycle for everyone
A guarantee that we must all be born and all must die
But when is the true question.

God was the only one that knew when
But he kept it secret from me
A knowledge privy to only those that lived before and continued to live after me
I lived a life of piety
Out of fear for this God I worshipped
Putting aside things
With the thought that everything happens…at its own time

Day by day passed and I put aside the pleasures of this earth
For reasons I did not bother to investigate
I put them aside
Knowing that I may one day die but thinking that today was not my day
But who am I to have a say
In the course of this life I live

This humble life I lived…
Robbed blindly
Subdued completely
And in this humble life I died
Without experiencing any pleasures of this life of mine

Ashes to ashes I came and I went
Without a whisper of my memory instilled in anyone’s mind
An existence forgotten like a useless dream
No worth
No purpose…
But to be born to die
To sweat…to die
And to live a life not worth living…
To die

This poem was inspired by the above image of a Sudanese toddler crawling to the nearest camp as the vulture hovered over its lifeless body waiting to devour its meal. In March 1993, photographer Kevin Carter made a trip to southern Sudan, where he took this picture later winning the Pulitzer Prize for this photo-but he couldn’t enjoy it. “I’m really, really sorry I didn’t pick the child up,” he confided in a friend. Consumed with the violence he’d witnessed, and haunted by the questions as to the little girl’s fate, he committed suicide three months later. What are your thoughts on this image?

Last Edited by: Updated: September 12, 2018


Must Read

Connect with us

Join our Mailing List to Receive Updates