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March 14, 2012 / Sez

The Survivor (Poetry Form 1: Sestina)

It had to be, really, for continuity. Furthermore, as it’s my birthday I get to be totally self indulgent and write what turns out to be my favourite kind of sestina: Bleak Dystopian Monologue! Comments, critical, constructive or complimentary are positively encouraged. As are poetry form requests, and poetry prompts. Help meeeee…

The Survivor

I’m not quite sure how long I’ve been alone
Although I know I wasn’t always here.
I’m usually too busy trying to find
Enough to eat and drink. I must survive
Until I know for certain I’m the last.
Until I know that everybody’s gone.

Sometimes I really wish that I had gone
With them: at least I wouldn’t be alone.
There’s precious little joy in being the last.
I wish I knew that someone else were here –
Or if the ones who left the Earth survive:
Whether they found the home they hoped to find.

It’s the uncertainty: if I could find
That everyone had definitely gone,
Would I lose my ambition to survive,
Knowing that I would live and die alone?
Knowing for sure that I would never hear
Another human voice, that I’m the last?

It’s true, the rest who stayed here didn’t last
Long, once the plague came. It was hard to find
Enough to eat when everyone was here,
And hunger meant that when their life was gone
(I hated it, but had to, all alone)
I ate their flesh in order to survive.

If I had known how long I would survive,
I’d have preserved their meat and made it last.
I thought the plague would kill me but, alone,
I have remained immune, only to find
That my supplies are very nearly gone
And so it’s time to go away from here.

I shall move on. I’m hoping that I’ll hear
A human voice, that there are more survivors,
Or I’ll find the spaceships – so long gone –
Have all returned to rescue me at last.
I’ll search, and maybe somebody will find
Me, Maybe, after all, I’m not alone…

Because I’m here, unsure if I’m the last,
I must survive. That is, until I find
That they are gone, and I am all alone.



Leave a Comment
  1. Tim Ralphs / Mar 15 2012 8:52 am

    Happy Birthday. You are mad, and we’re all rooting for you.

  2. *** / Apr 3 2012 11:09 pm

    Belated many Happy Returns of the day.
    I will try and join you on this journey, as long as you lead the way.

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