Death through the eyes of a child

The God of Mud: a cartoon

The God of Mud

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(Reposted from 2015) In which I try to come to terms with Death by comparing Ruby’s God of Mud with Death as described by Steve Jobs.

When Ruby (not her real name) was very young, she used to share her insights into life, the universe and everything. I wrote down 79 of these as found poems. Hang on to your hat — here comes one of Ruby’s revelations.

Ruby’s God of Mud is not unlike death as explained by Steve Jobs:

“No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet, death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it, and that is how it should be, because death is very likely the single best invention of life. It’s life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new.”

The God of Mud

We don’t want anybody dying
(says Ruby)
because the people get sad
and make a noise —
“Oh, oh, oh, we want granddad!”

The god of mud kills people
when they need to be killed.
She eats them
then spits them out.

And if she didn’t kill people
she’d be sad because
she’d have nothing to do.
So that’s why she kills people.

I’ll draw her for you.
The god is a giant,
curly hair, ears, earrings.
She’s a stick person and an island.

She’s got a person in her mouth
(not happy) and she spits her out.
The person looks like a normal person
but her vagiva is gone

and her eyeballs fall out
into the god’s mouth.
She goes chew, chew, chew.
She is a horrible, horrible, horrible god.

Image is my attempt to replicate Ruby’s much better drawing. Poem by Ruby (not her real name) McAlpine. Both cc by-4.0

5 thoughts on “Death through the eyes of a child

  1. lifecameos says:

    Very interesting to read a young child’s perception of death.

    1. Maybe I got it wrong: maybe it is really about the god of mud!

      1. lifecameos says:

        Maybe ….

  2. I have a granddaughter aged 4, named Ruby and she takes delight in bringing me fallen leaves, she brought me s beautiful leaf the other day, and when I thanked her and told her how happy I was because the others had died, her mother, my daughter Emma, and my, son both jumped on me, and told me I must not use that word in front of her children.

    I wonder what they will tell her when I die in the not to distant future, not some fairy story about floating up into the sky/heaven’ I hope.

    It made me feel quite ashamed of my own children

  3. To paraphrase what a counselor told me once, your children are not to blame: they are just part of a great social movement. I’m kind of shocked too, though! Carry on, they need you. PS Ruby is a splendid name. It’s the name I use for my granddaughter in poems that essentially just relay her dazzling conversation as a child.

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