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, 16 November 2015

Saeed Jaffrey - d. November 15th 2015

You dignified a continent
we only knew through archetypes
lit your scenes a different way, 
spoke in your own accent,
found a better passage.

Read about Saeed Jaffrey here

Cynthia Payne - d. November 15th 2015

In my Father's disorderly house
are many rooms; behind each door 
I hear the rustle of satin, the swish
of the crop, the cork leaving the bottle.

Read about Cynthia Payne here

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Warren Mitchell - d. November 14th 2015

See, the trouble wiv actors
is they ain't real people.
They're all Jews or queers,
never done a day's work,
never changed nuffin'.

read about Warren Mitchell here

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Phil 'Philthy Animal' Taylor - d. November 11th 2015

Ahead of the beat,
behind the beat,
missing the beat,
subbed, overdubbed,
drunk, sunk, out of time.

Andy White - d. November 9th 2015

Forget what madness followed;
when it really, really mattered,
you played to tempo, kept it tight,
packed the sticks, took the bus home.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Allen Toussaint - d. November 10th 2015

The fortune teller said
a man will come,
a hurricane of song.
He'll take a melody, 
sweat out a rhythm,
make the levees sing.

Read about Allen Toussaint here

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Colin Welland - d. November 2nd 2015

I remember those blue hills,
the emptying playing fields,
the hum of a squad car
in a new town.
I hear a voice on the wind;

the actor is coming.