I’m very grateful to our friend Roland of ROLAND’S RAGBAG for giving me permission to do a spoken version of his recent poem ‘The Meaning of Life’ for my ‘Voices’ series. To use the words of published poets raises the question of copyright and inevitably a fee. But when I read poetry such as this, and others, from our poetry circle I feel there is no need to look elsewhere. I hope you enjoy Roland’s thought provoking words and I can do them justice.



Max Richter – On the nature of daylight                         



The Meaning of Life

The friend I lost today,
the ant I trod on yesterday,
both no longer quick
but now sharing death.

How similar
yet how different.
‘How sad the world without them’
says God
‘How disparate’, say I,
if I care to say anything at all.

God and Nature, merge their significance,
their world view equalising loss,
while I, bereft, forlorn,
am led to grieve for one
but not the other.

Significance holds prominence,
for Nature must consider all loss notable
but necessary,
living in different time scales,
our individual lives
serve only our own time frame,
our personal connections
pointing to meaning
and giving resonance
and substance
to each separate life.

As the axe I take to the log,
the knife to my steak,
my boot to the beetle’s innocence,
and as I pluck yet another rose,
so ends my hold on life,
for ever compromised.

So I am left with
how, in nature’s sight,
meaning lies only with
the recurring cycle,

but in my heart
my hurt is not diminished,
my mourning
is just mine to feel.


13 thoughts on “THE MEANING OF LIFE– by Roland Keld

  1. A wonderful reading of a wonderful poem Nigel and the choice of background music is perfect. Hearing the poem read aloud takes me deeper into the poem. If you don’t mind, I have taken the liberty of linking to your reading for my Thursday Thoughts slot tomorrow.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Davy & not at all to the link. I’ve been giving these ‘voices’ some thought. There are hundreds of quality poems in our circle, every day I read more. Yet now and again a piece just grabs me. What you’ve just listened to is literally what I heard the moment I read it. Whether it’s the flow, subject, word choice/construction combo ? I do know it is a ‘feeling’ that is different.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Cheers Nigel. The thing that I liked about the poem was how the last line brings you back to the first, the cycle Roland talks about. The way you read it you could have done that and it would have sounded as a continuation of the poem rather than it being repeated.

        Liked by 1 person

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