The Mortal Limit

Amanda Starks
2 min readJul 19


A Poem Inspired by Robert Penn Warren’s “Mortal Limit”

How far and how vast is the sky

that stretches overhead like blown glass

that shimmers with shadows and shapes

like the ripples in an indefinite ocean

How deep and how perilous is the mountain root

which pierces through the earth like some spear

that is shoved into a vermilion forge with care

that glows brightly like a ripe lemon

about to burst from the pressure

How cold and how burning are the desert sands

that hiss and spit like some venomous snake

with sparkling, coiled quartz scales

that twinkle and fall over curves like stars

with nothing but an indiscernible pull to guide them

How brief and how terrifying is the mortal limit

that which we cannot deny or change

for even the altering sky is caught in a wheel

and the steadfast mountain root is worn away by the clock

and the desert sands are lifted from grounding chains

So when the mortal limit comes

do not fear its sudden descent

for even the matriarch of time

cannot break such restraints

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Amanda Starks

Amanda Starks is a fantasy author who writes in-depth and sometimes unhinged pieces on her favorite tv shows, books, games, and anime.