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Life's A Mayfly: a poem about the brevity of life

Updated: Jun 26, 2023

I wanted to write a poem about the fleeting brevity of life: about the tiny moments that made us and still do.

“You could not remove a single grain of sand from its place without thereby … changing something throughout all parts of the immeasurable whole.”

— Fichte, The Vocation of Man (1800)

Uttoxeter was instrumental in helping a small boy from yesterday, now an old man of today, realise that life is a mayfly flutter ... (aka an Utcheter Flutter) so this this one is for you old home town.

Life’s a Mayfly

Life’s a flit, a skit, a flutter

A gasp, a rasp, a grasp, a splutter

Life’s a wink, a blink, a wiggle

A tick, a flick, a lick, a wriggle

Life’s a bang, a clang, a quiver

A splash, a crash, a dash, a shiver

Life’s a hop, a pop, a burble

A flap, a clap, a snap, a gurgle

Life’s a sip, a skip, a rumble

A breeze, a wheeze, a sneeze, a stumble

Life’s a grin, a spin, a sprinkle

A swing, a sting, a wring, a wrinkle

Life’s a poke, a croak, a ripple

A phrase, a craze, a gaze, a stipple

Life’s a sob, a blob, a blunder

A file, a smile, a while, a wonder

Life’s a blot, a dot, a trickle

A speck, a fleck, a peck, a prickle

Life’s a twitch, a glitch, a glimmer

A dream, a beam, a scream, a shimmer

Life’s a note, a quote, a favour

A hemi demi semi quaver

Life’s a whir, a blur, a splutter

A mayfly wing, a fling, a flutter

Mark Bird

a 1970s photograph of a family on the back garden
A Uttoxeter Day From Way Back When ...

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