© Matthew Word Bain

time takes its toll on paint
as it does on what is painted
when is a piece of plywood
no longer a piece of plywood?
a building no longer a building?
what is death to the inanimate?
what is inanimate?

death to a living thing
is not so straightforward
as an ego might sense
as cells outlive organisms
and even when those cells die
their vitality lives on in other forms
as the nutrients which sustained them
become the nutrients which sustain others
and death turns out to be something more like
a change in form or a change in allegiance
or a change in hierarchical structure
or a change in the locus of control

where lies the allegiance of the vitality
that is continuous through the transition
from life to death to life across species
if not to life itself, if not to the biosphere?
is there a difference between the two?