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, 29 December 2016

Debbie Reynolds - d. December 28th 2016

Perhaps old Hollywood died 
with you; once unthinkable.
The movies that set you afloat
handbuilt a legend, unsinkable.

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Vera Rubin - d. December 25th 2016

The universe has no walls‬
‪to break down, only lightless‬
‪corners to chart.‬ Yes,
‪death is a dark matter,‬
‪but science is all brightness.‬

read about Vera Rubin here

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Carrie Fisher - d. December 27th 2016

Today I got a postcard 
from the edge of the universe;
Drowning in moonlight,
in need of rescue,
fresh white robes,
a kiss from a scoundrel.

Monday, 26 December 2016

Liz Smith - d. December 26th 2016

D'you know 
who's dead?‬
‪Her from No.27.
‪I'm not surprised...‬
‪she liked her stout. ‬
‪They say‬
‪it was a jar 
of piccalilli‬
‪that had gone off.‬

Sunday, 25 December 2016

George Michael - d. December 25th 2016

Once, it was all 
bad boys, 
making rules
for fools. You got wise,
got the moves, 
but now
it's time to go-go, 
and it's us
who have to wake up.

Read about George Michael here

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Rick Parfitt - d. December 24th 2016

The spectres interrupt
the final soundcheck
with some sorry news
and everyone stops
to watch you connect
those twelve bars of blues.

read about Rick Parfitt here

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Zsa Zsa Gabor - d. December 18th 2016

Relax, dahlink,
you were somehow more 
than what you left behind;
all those rich lawyers,  
relieved wives,
the deposit box
brimming with diamonds.

read about Zsa Zsa Gabor here

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Ian McCaskill - d. December 10th 2016

Some are gifted power
not to forecast weather
but to change it
with a voice
like scattered showers
or a smile
ushering in
an unexpected warm front

Read about Ian McCaskill here

Thursday, 8 December 2016

John Glenn - d. December 8th 2016

Where are the heroes?
Nearly all gone.
The countdown has run
from seven to zero. 

Read about John Glenn here

Greg Lake - d. December 7th 2016

The curtain of style:
how quickly it descends,
only rising once in a while.
Get out while you can, my friend,
to the show that never ends.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Peter Vaughan - d. December 6th 2016

There's a shadow
over the land:
you, in the clouds,
armchair, fat cigar,
shark-eyed, unsmiling 
Come in Gabriel,
got a little favour to ask.

Read about Peter Vaughan here

Friday, 2 December 2016

Andrew Sachs - d. November 23rd 2016

Your gift to us; foresight 
of a kind of heaven - 
room upon room
of disgruntled diners,
eating from a table d'hôte
with laughter for every course.