Pain is the great reminder

of the presence of body,

of our biology manifest

and of the flesh that makes 

our living being,

which we share as animals

among animals;

and of the frailty of existing

as the mortal human fallen,

even if we think we are gods

and heroes inviolable

that triumph and build

our towers above

the rudeness of life.


Pain is our shared experience

and the undeniable constant

that links us all across the

distances of place and culture,

language and knowledge,

religion and ethics,

fame and status and our

positions wrought in the social order;

and in all our pretences

it is no less and

it is never taken away 

but comes as surely as disease,

loneliness, age, loss and injury.


Pain defines us as aware creatures

that ever wonder boldly

why we live and feel in such

a cold universe that causes us 

to be and then sees us suffer

as beings that search for hope 

eternal and yet are subject to

the laws of decay and the finality 

of all that is present and then

absent in this curious little animated

fragment that we call a life

lived inevitably with surprises.