To Die Is . . .

To die ( they say ) is like putting off an overcoat
or a piece of armour, & retiring quietly
or even joyfully to some other place…

With increasing age however, unless suicide is intended
It’s advisable to call in an accountant to study
The books: the debits & credits. To urge him to come
without meandering as quickly as the facts permit
definitely to a conclusion. He cannot be expected
to say where:
still less how:
but with bankruptcy impinging,
& so many figures Jumping & shouting, he SURELY
(with his computer & other machines) can predict when!

I admit that anyone can easily be run over, or blown up
in the street, or swept away by a hurricane, or hijacked
& lost in an airplane –
but all these are irrelevancies:
your accountant must be instructed to ignore them
 & stick to his books!

After taking the poison he touched his limbs & said:
‘When this potion reaches up  to  my  heart,  either my spirit
will rise up -  from my feet to my head - & so spring
out of me, & (having looked around will suddenly depart
or undreaming it will sleep - wonderfully at its ease –

But unscientifically he spoilt this excellent deduction
by adding irrelevantly ( a moment before he died) :

‘Crito you must remember we owe a cock to Aesculapius.
Do not on any account neglect to repay him!’


There should be a kind of joy in the preparation for death but existence is a matter of debits & credits.

To come quickly to a correct appreciation & understanding, it is necessary to call in an accountant: not in order to discover where or how, but simply to know when.

Accidental death should be ignored. Socrates is said to have welcomed death hopefully; but the memory of a small debt (just before he died, according to Crito) was of particular importance to him.