Hello Mr. Death (A Love Song)

David Hawkins
David Hawkins


"Hello Mr. Death (A Love Song)" started, I suppose, with the way that the last line of the following e. e. cummings' poem has rung in my head since I first heard it:


'Buffalo Bill's/ defunct'


Buffalo Bill's


               who used to

               ride a watersmooth-silver


        and break onetwothreefourfive pigeonsjustlikethat


        he was a handsome man

                             and what i want to know is

        how do you like your blueeyed boy

        Mister Death 



Beyond the poem's influence was my desire to reframe death. I wanted to balance our fear of death with another view, a sort of yin to the yang of the great terror.




Hello Mr. Death, Hello Scary Face           

Hello Icy Breath, Hello Big Erase, I know

You could pluck me from this world any time


Is that Lady Death I see?  Hey, you sure look fine today

Did you just wink at me? I’d like to steal you away

And take you dancing through the night


Chorus:            Mr. Death brings everybody down, down, down

                        Every time he comes around

                        But the Lady she gives me wings to fly


Come on Lady D, let’s ditch old What’s-His-Name

You could help me see that I don’t really need the pain

Especially when he says it’s nearly my time to go




We’ll dance the Taj Mahal, strut the Vieux Carre

Jump Niagara Falls, stroll the Champs Elysee

Dance with the stars across the Milky Way




We’ll do the hoochie coo underneath the moon above

Swim the ocean blue—is there ever time enough?

Do you think, do you think this could be love?


©2010 David Hawkins