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.

Thursday, 31 March 2016

Zaha Hadid - d. 31st March 2016

Plans for Heaven's redesign
are in; 
interplay of glass and void,
curving at the command of steel,
remaking a skyline
in a place without sky.

Ronnie Corbett - d. March 31st 2016

...later in the show
we put Britain's
tiniest comedian
under the microscope,
but now it's goodnight
from me, and it's goodbye
from him. Goodbye.

Read about Ronnie Corbett here

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Johan Cruyff - March 24th 2016

I saw the playback;
you & St Peter
outside the area. 
A jink of the heel
turned him inside out,
left for dead,
had all Heaven
leaping to its feet.

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Barry Hines - d. March 18th 2016

They’re coming out for you;
from trees and grey streets. 
You, who taught them to talk
in their own accent, slip
their jesses, take to the wing.

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Paul Daniels - d. March 17th 2016

Turning turgid sleight of hand 
to gold, 
homeliness to handsome profit, 
joker into ace, 
Teesside into Vegas;
Now that's magic.

Read about Paul Daniels here

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Sylvia Anderson - d. March 16th 2016

Time to stub out the Sobranie,
leave the mansion of the future.
The Rolls is purring pinkly 
at the door, waiting 
till your final mission is GO!

Read about Sylvia Anderson here

Monday, 14 March 2016

Peter Maxwell Davies - d. March 14th 2016

We are coming out
of radioactive houses,
up Binkie's Brae, 
pulling your piano behind us 
to the place 
where the whole world 
can hear it.

Read about Peter Maxwell Davies here

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Ken Adam - d. March 10th 2016

Your body lies, dead wrist
chained to a ticking bomb
beneath the volcano
in a sepulchre built
to your particular design.

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

George Martin - d. March 8th 2016

Your desk has many channels;
bass, drums, 2 guitars, 2 vocals,
strings, screams, howls of acid,
plus one for every soul alive
since 1962.

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Tony Warren - d. March 2nd 2016

You’re alive; echoing in drains
on dark streets; empty spaces
where words live; in grains
between cobbles; in faces
shining in the Salford rain.