Tag Archives: death

Poem 73: Aunty Rene

(This poem continues my decision this month to post poems I wrote fifty plus years ago – this week’s poem was written around about when I was 15!)

My aunty died about thirteen years ago.
For thirteen years she has not known the
warm sun and pale breeze I now feel.
She has not known the thirteen
evenings, the afternoons, the blackbird peace and
childhood memories that swing around every spring.
As a spinster, she has no one to love her after death,
no one to be remembered by, and
not much to be remembered for.
She was just an ordinary aunty.

And I thought of all the ordinary people
who mean nothing;
whose names do not lie hidden
even in buried archives.
I thought of all these people,
once so wonderful, so friendly,
and now indifferently forgotten…

Oh what is life? and what is life? and life?…
My aunty never died,
she has only been forgotten.

Feel the warm sun and pale breeze,
Sing to the universe,
Tomorrow you may feel no more.
Tomorrow –
Tomorrow you may feel no more.

1280. Cemetery saunter

Warwick Rabbits liked nothing better to relax than to quietly wander a cemetery. He enjoyed reading the gravestone inscriptions. He imagined what the person was like.

Here’s the grave of Roman Mead. Died 5 July 1924. It’s not a common name, Roman. Warwick could see no other Meads buried in the vicinity. Perhaps he never married. It doesn’t say how old he was.

And here’s the grave of Roberta Cattermole, loved wife of Denny. He’s buried there with her, although he went first. Looking at the dates, she lived as a widow for nineteen years.

Oh, and here’s the grave of Carol Greenberg, died aged seven months. How sad. Warwick pondered how his parents must have grieved.

And here’s… goodness… here’s the grave of… It can’t be? Surely not? Here’s the grave of Warwick Rabbits. Born 12 August 1941. That was his birthday. The day, month and year, and his name, were the same as his. Warwick wondered if he was dead. He didn’t recall dying. He didn’t remember having been ill in recent times. He must have died suddenly, if indeed he was dead.

Nothing was different. He felt the same, except he had no lumbago and it was three in the morning. Why on earth would he be wandering a cemetery at that time of night? And then he noticed something. It would normally have shocked him deeply. He was wearing no clothes. But it didn’t matter because he didn’t have a body.

Poem 63: On a dahlia

[Many thanks to Uma for the beautiful photograph.  Uma is a wonderful writer (and photographer).

The form selected for this week is an adaptation of the Vietnamese Luc bat. It is an adaptation of the poetic form because Vietnamese is a tonal language and it cannot be imitated in English. The syllable count and the rhyming pattern have been adhered to!]

The dahlia opens slow
before it makes a show, bright red,
and then the full-faced head
bends down towards its bed and bows;
as if to say the hours
of fleeting life somehow are short.
Its beauty comes to naught
as petals fall uncaught and die.

Some say each flower shall leave
a cob, a pod of seeds, a cone,
from which will spring the bones
of new flowers, new fruit, grown; and yet,
lest ever I forget,
my death shall not beget new grain
to grow in hope, in pain,
in love, in loss, in gain, in joy.

1226. Gored by bull

It’s been an utter tragedy. The whole village is in shock. Harry Dennison has been gored to death by his bulls. If anyone knew how to handle bulls it was Harry Dennison.

Harry had bred and handled bulls for a good fifty years. He’d started out with just the one cow and bull, and now it could just about be said that every bull in the county was from Harry’s stock. I suppose you could say that being gored to death by bulls is a fitting enough finale to such a (excuse the pun) bull studded life.

But the shock of it all. It’s going to affect the whole area. It’ll be a huge funeral. And getting gored by out of control bulls must be the goriest thing you can imagine. Those horns will rip open a man’s chest and stomach before you can blink. And the foot stamping on the head. And the tossing. And a bull doesn’t give up; one whiff of blood, for a mad bull in a mood, and you might as well kiss your arse goodbye.

Gored to death. I’m sorry to keep repeating it, but I’m profoundly shocked. Shocked.

What’s that? Oh! Oh dear. Harry Dennison wasn’t gored to death by bulls at all. All he said was that after fifty years he’s bored to death by bulls.

1223. Death of a martyr

Constance was preciously pious. She said her prayers. She read her bible. She was kind to others. She loved Jesus. And most of all she wanted to die a martyr.

Since childhood she had read the lives of those heroes and heroines who had died for their faith. How wonderful their lives! How inspiring their deaths! What a privilege it would be to join their ranks in heaven!

One day, some horrible people came along and captured Constance. They tortured and raped her for three days. “That’s for being a Christian,” they said. Then they tortured and raped her for another three days and stuck sharp things under her nails. It was excruciating. It was sheer agony.

Constance cursed God and died.

Oh well.

1195. Fat man’s widow

Roberto was so fat when he died that a special coffin had to be made.

“We don’t stock gigantic coffins for grossly fat people,” said the undertaker to the grieving widow. “You’ll have to get one specially made.”

The poor grieving widow had nowhere to turn. She said she couldn’t afford to have a coffin specially made, let alone a very large one. She went to see if she could get some government benefit to help out.

“We don’t pay for gigantic coffins for grossly fat dead people,” said the Government agency. “If he’d gone on a diet and exercised a bit of self-control before he kicked the bucket we might have looked at it with a bit of sympathy.”

The grieving widow went to see the pastor of the local church.

“Why would we want to help out?” asked the pastor. “Your late husband was a grossly overweight, fat pig. You can’t have your cake and eat it, although looking at the size of your dead husband I’d say he’d eaten as much cake as he could stuff in his mouth. Haw! Haw! Haw!”

By now the grieving widow was desperate and the body (still sprawled on the sofa in her sitting room) was starting to disintegrate.

“Why haven’t you got rid of the body of that disintegrating, grossly overweight, slobby fat pig?” asked the children of the dead husband’s first marriage.

“I can’t fit his corpse through the door and the undertaker won’t help out until the money for the coffin is paid up first,” said the grieving widow.

People heard of the grieving widow’s plight. Thousands of dollars were donated. The grieving widow used the donated money to go on a world cruise in an ocean liner. You can imagine the stink that caused.