About Otwituaries


I started tweeting these poetic obituaries via Twitter on the death of Ernest Borgnine in July 2012. After a while a friend asked if I would gather them together, so I have created this blog as an archive. New Otwituaries will appear here as well as being broadcast via Twitter and Facebook.


All the Otwituaries are written very quickly on the day their subjects pass away, so are clearly lacking in polish or the insight that only comes in time, but they are all from the heart. They represent the people who have, in some way, touched my life - actors, musicians, sporting figures, TV personalities, writers, explorers and assorted others of note.

We live in an age where people are celebrated for the most modest of achievements - news and media ensure that seemingly everyone gets their five minutes of fame if they stick around long enough. It may therefore seem a little morbid or even self-serving on my part to write about the recently-deceased (few if any of whom I have actually met), but these people already enjoy some degree of immortality through their celebrity, and therefore don't need a poem from me. I hope you enjoy reading these short poetic sketches all the same, in the spirit they are intended.

Monday, 23 April 2018

Verne Troyer - d. April 21st 2018

Hollywood is no Lilliput,
no imaginarium;
it is the reality
that shelters the unreal,
where stature
is not measured
in feet and inches.




Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Dale Winton - d. April 18th 2018

Teeth, tan, eyes, camera, 
hypersmooth, always
in control. 
When the klaxon sounds
there will be prizes
for anyone with showbiz 
in their soul.



Monday, 16 April 2018

R. Lee Ermey - d. April 15th 2018

Angels? I seen
maggots holier
than thou.
What you grinnin' 
so beatifically at?
I’ll ram that halo
so far down your neck
you'll be shittin'
miracles…




Saturday, 14 April 2018

Miloš Forman - d. April 13th 2018

It’s the talk 
of the day room;
you and McMurphy
- not gone upstairs
but together in escape.
It’s easier than 
you think, Chief.

Read about Miloš Forman here



Thursday, 5 April 2018

Eric Bristow - d. April 5th 2018

A nickel-tungsten 
22-gramme 
smudges the lipstick 
of double 16. 
Your swagger 
is a dart to the heart;
we go round the board
with you, one last time.

Monday, 2 April 2018

Steven Bochco - d. April 1st 2018

7am. Roll call. Anyone
seen Bochco? No one’s
seen Bochco. Downtown,
asleep in a dumpster
or hustling undercover,
too Street to be sweet,
always careful out there.

Read about Steven Bochco here


Friday, 30 March 2018

Bill Maynard - d. March 30th 2018

Oh no. Flags fly low
across thorpes and thwaites, 
rough-handed men
sink pints of cooking,
slur Magic our Maurice,
bumble to the lonely grave.




Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Katie Boyle - d. March 20th 2018

Europe awaits you,
its forêts and Straßen
trembling in tulle, organza. 
Et maintenant 
les votes du jury Élysian.
Can you hear me Élysia?

read about Katie Boyle here

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Jim Bowen - d. March 14th 2018


The reputation you made
in the clubs, that's safe;
will you consider gambling it
on TV? You have the time
it takes for the world to revolve…


Read about Jim Bowen here

Stephen Hawking - d. March 14th 2018


All bodies eventually collapse
into themselves, and yet
the radiation from your mind
will be a constant, detectable
at the end of all things.


Monday, 12 March 2018

Ken Dodd - d. March 11th 2018

What a beautiful day missus,
for going backstage
at the Hippodrome, 
dark as a jam butty mine, 
to listen for the ghost 
that outjoked them all.


Monday, 5 March 2018

Trevor Baylis - d. March 5th 2018

Let them say 
there is no power here.
Let them say
no-one will send the words.
You said
I will bring you power;
the words will come to you.

Read about Trevor Baylis here

Sunday, 4 March 2018

Roger Bannister - d. March 3rd 2018

Tick. Tick. Final sprint.
Chataway and Brasher
dropped already. Tape, dip.
Personal best. First, forever,
in this or any other race.

read about Roger Bannister here

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Lewis Gilbert - d. February 23rd 2018

Your heroes became ours;
the real, and the abstract,
and all your flashbacks
are just projections of us.


read about Lewis Gilbert here

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Billy Graham - d. February 21st 2018

Today you will stand
before your creator
just as you are
in your imperfect nature,
saying I have saved
though I'm no saviour.

Read about Billy Graham here


Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Vic Damone - d. February 11th 2018

Oh, the towering feeling
of seeing angels queue
below your marquee
outside Club Heaven,
its humming walls 
waiting for you 
to drape them with velvet.




Saturday, 3 February 2018

Dennis Edwards - d. February 1st 2018

A million miles from reality
the stones vibrate in sympathy
to a voice like bottled sunshine,
doing fine on Cloud Nine.

read about Dennis Edwards here

Sunday, 28 January 2018

Ingvar Kamprad - d. January 27th 2018

We, whose homes
are filled with you,
gather to assemble 
your casket; black ash,
brushed steel handles,
several screws over
when the job is done.

read about Ingvar Kamprad here


Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Mark E. Smith - d. January 24th 2018

Perpetual number one-uh
Kelly’s Eye-uh
Bormann and Lucifer-uh
hanging around-uh
waiting to parlez-vous 
with you-uh

read about Mark E. Smith here


Ursula K. Le Guin - d. January 22nd 2018

You birthed many futures
as if children, taught them 
to be equally true, gave them 
the means to exist, the right,
then sent them singing
out into the star-minted night.