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.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Angelo Dundee - d. February 1st 2012

You had a plan 
for every punk; 
jab and move, 
stay on your toes 
and off the ropes.
The ring 
has four corners;
you were there
in all of them.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Mel Smith - d. July 19th 2013

'eard the news?
That comedian. Croaked.
Well, he did have a face like a toad.
'Ave some respect. I thought 'e was funny
Not now 'e isn't.

Read about Mel Smith here 

Friday, 19 July 2013

Bert Trautmann - d. July 19th 2013

After the war,
you found yourself
in the right place,
at the right time,
playing the game
your captors invented,
yet still
playing the game.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Chester Harriott - d. July 15th 2013

Let me lift the lid
for the Liberace
of Fitzrovia,
his velvet fingers
itching for arpeggios,
but his keyboard
just one forgotten octave.

Friday, 12 July 2013

Alan Whicker - d. July 12th 2013

I imagine you
stepping off the plane
in Paradise,
dressed for safari, 
microphone in hand, 
looking for an angel
to quiz about the locals.

Read more about Alan Whicker here 

George Jones - d. April 26th 2013

To sing like that,
To tell those tales,
you must’ve been
on drinking terms
with Gabriel
and Lucifer.
Now all of us
will cry into
our beer tonight.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Margaret Thatcher - April 8th 2013

Your place  
among the stars
is assured;
the cold stars,
the sick stars,
stars with no future,
stars we shall not miss.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Bernie Nolan - d. July 4th 2013

Your pouting gang
were too uncool for school,
but you had your moment
in every 80's home,
with your knowing wink,
your kitsch in sync.

Read more about Bernie Nolan here

Frank Thornton - d. March 16th 2013

First floor;
pomposity and innocence,
without knowing why.
Second floor;
a vague Britishness.
Going up.


Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Jim Kelly - d. June 29th 2013

For you,
the combat
brought the high,
not the victory,
so I imagine
when the end came,
you were too busy
looking cool.

Read more about Jim Kelly here