Die Slowly

by Pablo Neruda


He who becomes the slave of habit

Who follows the same routes every day

Who never changes pace

Who does not risk and change the colour of his clothes

Who does not speak and does not experience…

Dies slowly


He or she who shuns passion

Who prefers black on white

Dotting ones I’s rather than a bundle of emotions

The kind that make your eyes glimmer

That turn a yawn into a smile

That make the heart pound in the face of mistakes and feelings…

Dies slowly


He or she who does not turn things topsy-turvy

Who is unhappy at work

Who does not risk certainty for uncertainty

To thus follow a dream

Those who do not forego sound advice at least once in their lives…

Dies slowly


He who does not travel

Who does not read

Who does not listen to music

Who does not find grace in himself…

Dies slowly


He who slowly destroys his own self-esteem

Who does not allow himself to be helped

Who spends days on end complaining about his own bad luck

About the rain that never stops…

Dies slowly


He or she who abandon a project before starting it

Who fail to ask questions on subjects he doesn’t know

He or she who doesn’t reply when they are asked something they do know…

Die slowly


Let’s try and avoid death in small doses

Always reminding oneself that being alive

Requires an effort by far greater than the simple fact of breathing

Only a burning patience will lead to the attainment of a splendid happiness…

And live


Poem: Fading anger

Look out across the years, can you see me crying?
Your memory fades with each passing night and day
From the beginning I knew that you were lying
Your colour shifts from red to shades of grey

I see through your deceit, I know that you are hurting
Regret it covers your face up like a cape
Memories now become quite disconcerting
I still wonder how you managed to escape

I hear your angry voice, rant like a drum beat
You were protecting yourself last time we spoke
I only asked you for conversation and made it discrete
I’ve never guessed you’d hide yourself up in that smoke

I sent you my feelings in a confidential letter
But you just played at God with Abel and Cain
Ten years further on I think I know you better
But how do you live your life with all that pain?

In my earth-filled coffin I think I will remember
The venom that was howling unrefined
Now old fires they just die to a glowing ember
And anger decomposes in the wasteland of your mind