Night and day he worked
that he will earn his keep
his needs have all been met
it did not give him sleep.
Day and night he worked
to have more than his keep.

His house became a castle
his wealth started to pile
there is food on the table
yet at night, he would sigh
“the future is not certain
work day and night. Must I?”

Days came and days went
his fortune multiplied
he feasted on his prize
he was satisfied.

But time stole away
unnoticed ’til it was gone
no gold or pleas could sway
the clock to stay its hand.

Thus he laid his head to sleep
beneath a marble stone
he got nothing to keep
but the dust clinging to his bones.


This is a response to MAGPIE TALES’ picture prompt this week:

My recent outing in the nearby graveyard and my fondness for Thomas Gray’s Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard, together with the forthcoming observance of All Saints’ Day and All Souls Day, must have played a role in the tone that the response had.

I am also linking with DVERSE Poets’ Open Link Night – Week 67.

Thank you all for coming by.  Please visit Magpie Tales and DVerse Poets for more responses.

19 thoughts on “ILLUSION

  1. this reminded me of the man who builds barn after barn to store his corn and misses out on life..not always easy to find a good work-life balance but so important…nice to meet you and welcome at dVerse..

  2. I know a few men like this. But I also know many who did not apply themselves and are financially hurting when they are older and have regrets. Delicate balance. Well said poem.

    1. First of all, thank you very much for dropping by.

      It is sad, in either case right? Though in the end, both – rich and poor – are in equal standing.

  3. whew…is this the life…to toil away everyday just to make ends meat…if your needs are met must you still work, and for what….what have we to show for it at the end of the day?

    1. As far as physical life is concerned, yeah, I think so. That’s where all of us go. The rest depends on whether one believes in life hereafter or not. And personally, I believe that physical death is not the end of life.

    1. Hey, Dana. Thanks for the visit. Yeah, it is sad when people get so caught up with material things. There is, however, nothing wrong about wanting and acquiring them. It is how one regards wealth that makes the difference.

  4. Brilliant! And I am surprised by how many are like that! Wonder whether it is an evolutionary memory of famine that makes people work their bones off to create and hoard wealth, till they are too old to enjoy it!

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