Friday, May 23, 2014


for Ray Kurzweil

      Although some claim the Singularity
      (barring a catastrophic accident)
      will let us live on Earth indefinitely,
      is immortality a good intent?

      I think we need the goad of finitude
      to let us savor life’s precarious joys,
      which with more urgent relish are pursued
      when scarce, whereas a surfeit of them cloys.

      Without the ever-lurking specter Death
      and the dread prospect of oblivion,
      we’d have no prompt to savor every breath
      as when we know our lives may soon be done.

           Though it seems paradoxical, we owe
           our joy in life to knowing we must go.