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.

Sunday, 31 January 2016

Frank Finlay - d. January 30th 2016

In the little theatre
of my hometown
cues are missed,
lines go unsaid,
bouquets wither
in a cold dressing room.

Read about Frank Finlay here

Terry Wogan - d. January 31st 2016

And up next, the Irish entry.
Would you look at the eejit,
all whimsy and innuendo,
carrot and schtick. 
Could go far.

Read about Terry Wogan here

Friday, 29 January 2016

Paul Kantner - d. January 28th 2016

Respect, man;
you were always 
chasing rabbits,
feeding your head.
Your life was what you 
were tripping on,
your death 
one more comedown.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Abe Vigoda - d. 26th January 2016

Sooner or later
even the wisest guy
gonna get clipped,
and no good word
will get you off the hook
this time.

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Colin Vearncombe - d. January 26th 2016

The heart is stilled now;
not the black one, racked
by loss, not the one 
made of clay, but the heart
full of comedy, and roses.

Monday, 25 January 2016

Cecil Parkinson - d. January 25th 2016

One of us she said
as if you belonged
to some higher order,
but a man is judged
by what he does
after he does 
what he shouldn't 
have done.

Henry Worsley - d. January 25th 2016

Out of respect,
the gale holds off,
holds the snow
delaying its own fall,
leaving a pair of tracks
till the end of the day.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Glenn Frey - d. January 18th 2016

On the cheating side of town
there's an empty room,
walls hung with Les Pauls,
whose owner checked out
but can never leave.

Read about Glenn Frey here

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Alan Rickman - d. January 14th 2016

The coming occasion
demands an oration,
suffused with magnetism,
languor, the straightest face.
If you were here
you would be perfect for it.

Monday, 11 January 2016

David Bowie - d. January 10th 2016

News guy wept and told us
No return 
for the Thin White Duke;
the freakiest show is over.
Surely not dead, 
merely rehearsing
the new persona.

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Ed 'Stewpot' Stewart - d. January 9th 2016

You practised 
a peculiar alchemy
in the spinning 
of runaway trains,
elephants, little fishes;
a transubstantiation of vinyl 
into eternal childhood.

Read about Ed Stewart here