Sam Smith

Sam Smith is editor of The Journal magazine and publisher of Original Plus books. Author of several novels and collections of poetry, he presently lives in Blaengarw, South Wales.

Aphorisms for the Unkind

How to die

Behold the 5 stages of dying:- Denial (Can’t be: I am too alive. Too now.)

                                                Anger (Why me? Bastards.)

                                                Bargaining (Not just yet. Let me…)

                                                Depression/Suicidal (Might as well be me ends it.)

                                                Acceptance (So be it.)

On the gale-battered hillside are the root starbursts of fallen trees. At the rear of an empty shop, and in the puddled bottom of a dented skip, 5 bald models, arms and legs awkwardly over and under each other as in a Belsen mass grave. Death walks in step with us. We become used to His presence, His offer of finality. We who know this however live among the self-blinded and the made-deaf, have to edge cautiously between those who require the world’s truth in a single phrase.

How to live

Not on watershined roads, and in among cars that are sold on their carefree image, anxious people driving before and behind. Nor must you arrive seeking a master. Maybe you will manage to avoid Pride, Covetousness, Lust, Anger, Gluttony, Envy and Sloth. If not you may still, hating yourself, assiduously follow a Four-fold Path. And, if fortunate – and Chance like Death definitely exists – you will possibly – in this world at this time – cultivate the cold unsentimental eye of childhood; and, for a while, you may yet bleakly survive.