Poem: Thinking about Dying by Mark Tulin


Thinking about dying makes me spend more time
doing pleasurable things.

Like eating my favorite flavor of non-dairy ice-cream,
breathing in the salty air of an ocean wave,
taking a longer look at an arching rainbow,
or catching a glimpse of a hummingbird in motion.

Thinking about dying makes me focus
on the precious breaths, I have left,
and not losing patience by the slow service of the cashier
or the way the hair stands awkwardly
on my sparsely-covered pate.

Thinking about dying tells me
not to worry about unread texts or voice mail
or checking the mirror more than once
to see if all those wrinkles on my forehead 
had melted away.

Thinking about dying reminds me
to let go of the vanity
and all those meaningless moments
that I wasted
not being grateful.


–This poem was originally posted in Literary Yard in a slightly different form.

I am an author, poet, humorist, and short story writer from Palm Springs, California. I write about various topics, from my early childhood in Philadelphia to my years as a family therapist and finally to my soul-searching in California. These are poetic narratives that may have humorous or serious content or both. Either way, I hope my poetry and stories resonate with you.

36 comments on “Poem: Thinking about Dying by Mark Tulin

  1. Great poem, Mark. A lot of people in my life have passed away lately, so similar thoughts on life have been coming to my mind.

  2. So true. As we grow older the thought of death occasionally presents itself. But life is now and so precious. I know what you mean though. Thanks for the post and thanks for stopping by Poemattic.

  3. Every time I pass a cemetery I think just as you do. Yes!

  4. It’s a wonderful poem. And so true. Love the picture as well.

  5. This is deeply beautiful.

  6. Just lost my cousin on Easter en reading this has made me appreciate all the silly and fun things he did…. thanks

  7. Wonderful poem… Deep and beautifully presented. Loved it

  8. Yes! I love this. So very true.

  9. I try very hard not to think about dying. Not much point really, as I shall find out all about it quite soon, I think. Knowing it will happen, makes me appreciate everything, just in case…

  10. As an older male, I can relate to this poem in so many ways!

  11. Really loved this, Mark!! I’m in that same boat! Better ways to spend your days, once you think about dying?? Bravo, My Friend!!

  12. It’s the last verse that caps it off, Mark! We’re all too damn busy to stop a moment and say thanks 😦

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