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 maybe a little lacking in polish, but they are all from the heart. They represent the people who have, in some way, touched my life - actors, sportsmen and women, TV personalities, writers, musicians and explorers. These people are already immortal, and therefore don't need my help, but I hope you enjoy reading these short poetic sketches all the same.

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Jerry Lewis - d. August 20th 2017

Hail the King of Crazy,
Grand Poobah of Nutty,
Arch-Dummy, 
Lord Screwy,
Chief Goof, 
The Kook's Kook.

Read about Jerry Lewis here


Friday, 18 August 2017

Bruce Forsyth - d. August 18th 2017

No song without dance,
no crack unwise, no phrase
that wouldn't catch. 
Nothing lower than an ace:
To have known you, nice.

Read about Bruce Forsyth here

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Glen Campbell - d. August 8th 2017

I laughed when I read
the part that said
you were leaving, 
but now I hear 
singing in the wires;
adios, cowboy,

Read about Glen Campbell here

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Hywel Bennett - d. July 25th 2017

The call goes out
for a small-time hood,
a scalp-hunter, a rogue,
lovable or louche
but they're so hard 
to find,
harder by the day.

read about Hywel Bennett here

Robert Hardy - d. August 3rd 2017

Dark hallway.
Phone rings,
Gruff voice,
Churchillian even.  
cuts through 
the murk, 
Darrowby 85?
Sorry, 
I'm not here.

Read about Robert Hardy here

Monday, 31 July 2017

Monday, 17 July 2017

George A. Romero - d. July 16th 2017

He is laid to rest,
yet I see the twitch
of an undead limb,
see his body rise, walk.
He came for me;
he is coming for you.

Martin Landau - d. July 15th 2017

Main Mission 
is impossibly silent,
all Eagles grounded. 

An Alpha Male 
falls out of orbit
with no way home.

Read about Martin Landau here

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Liu Xiaobo - d. July 13th 2017

[This Otwituary
has been censored.
Its author is under

house arrest. Anyone
circulating it will 
be subject to arrest
and imprisonment].

Read about Liu Xiaobo here

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Ray Phiri - d. July 12th 2017

The train of music
stops at every station,
yet is unstoppable.
It comes for you now,
whistling through the veldt,
whispering in the deep.

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Barry Norman - d. June 30th 2017

In the dark screening of life
it is not enough
to watch but not see,
to see but not understand,
to understand but not tell.



Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Michael Bond - d. June 27th 2017

At the word herbidacious
the gate opens; a man
steps through, duffled,
marmalade-flecked.
Handwritten label pleads
Please look after this writer.

Read about Michael Bond here


Monday, 19 June 2017

Brian Cant - d. June 19th 2017

Ready to play?
(that's P-L-A-Y)
then throw wide 
the windows,
throw out the rules.
I lived in a house;
you made it a school.

Read about Brian Cant here







Sunday, 11 June 2017

Adam West - June 9th 2017

Foolishly, I left the 
Death Repellent Spray
in the Batcopter
and BIFF! BANG! POW!
you had slid down
the Batpole of eternity.



Monday, 5 June 2017

Peter Sallis - d. June 2nd 2017

1921 was a good vintage;
dignified on the nose, grassy 
and autumnal on the tongue, 
hint of hills and motorcycle tyres.
Would go well with cheese.

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Roy Barraclough - d. June 1st 2017

Last time I saw him
he was by the optics,
Embassy Regal 
and a large Irish,
face like a busted sofa,
a hint of lipstick
,
ringing last orders.


Monday, 29 May 2017

John Noakes - d. May 28th 2017

So many ways to go;
the unopened parachute,
the mangled bobsled,
the rogue elephant.
Instead, the fading steps
of a man, following his dog.

Read about John Noakes here

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Roger Moore - d. May 23rd 2017

I was unwilling to be
persuaded of your death,
believing the final bullet
would be yours,
that you would always
keep the British end up.

Read about Roger Moore here

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Chris Cornell - d. May 17th 2017

This morning brought me no euphoria;
the sun off sick with melancholia.
A voice I thought to be unstoppable
tails off into the superunknowable.

Read about Chris Cornell here

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Geoffrey Bayldon - d. May 10th 2017

You were 
my brother-in-magic,
stepping out 
of a pre-electrick age,
hiding out 
in the tower 
of my childhood.

Read about Geoffrey Bayldon here



Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Robert Miles - d. May 9th 2017

I’m in the queue
for a club called Dreamland. 
Dancers a thousand deep, 
blissed out and young again,
wait for the piano, 
the eternal breakdown.

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Leo Baxendale - d. April 23rd 2017

When the bell rings
and it's time to go

I will remember you;
a crafty smirk, 
a smoking nib,
a style that was
never too cool 
for school.


Read about Leo Baxendale here

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Jonathan Demme - d. April 26tth 2017

In close-up
no-one blinks.
In close-up
the twist is always out of shot.
In close up
it starts making sense.

read about Jonathan Demme here



Monday, 17 April 2017

Clifton James - d. April 15th 2017

In this Parish,
everybody needs
to breach the peace
once in a while,
cut and run,
churn up the bayou
and that means you, smartass.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

John Geils Jr. - d. April 11th 2017

Eventually
all blood runs cold,
and phantom rockers
may behold
their cloud-girt angel
as God's centrefold.



Saturday, 8 April 2017

Brian Matthew - d. April 8th 2017

This was our old mate, 
foot-tapping and avid till the end, 
inverting the old cliché; 
if you don’t remember the 60’s 
you could still go there. 

Read about Brian Matthew here


Monday, 3 April 2017

Ikutaro Kakehashi - d. April 2nd 2017

101 reasons to mourn 
303 basslines unfolding
606 sequences bleeping
808 rhythms still looping
909 years from now

Read about Ikutaro Kakehashi here

Monday, 27 March 2017

David Storey - d. March 27th 2017

Your words were tough 
as a throat-high tackle;
fable of the Northern man,
floodlit, frostbit,
bundled into touch,
face ground into the mud,
try-line nowhere in sight.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Colin Dexter - d. March 21st 2017

The Wagner, the crypticisms. Clever,
complex as the pint roiling on the bar.
We are not the sum of our endeavours
unless, of course, we are.

Read about Colin Dexter here


Martin McGuinness - d. March 21st 2017

Yes, journeys need a map, 
but knowing when
the one-way street’s a cul-de-sac
is not enough; then
seek the courage to divert
and not look back. 


Sunday, 19 March 2017

Chuck Berry - d. March 18th 2017

The chapel bell tolls
for a riotous muse.
I heard Tchaikovsky wept
when they told him the news.
So long rhythm,
here comes the blues.

read about Chuck Berry here

Monday, 27 February 2017

Gerald Kaufman - d. February 26th 2017

I could not concur
with every syllable,
each ardent principle,
yet still, here is myrrh
for leaderless causes,
for fatherless houses.

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Bill Paxton - d. February 25th 2017

So you found a way
to get out of 
this chickenshit outfit.
But how to say this?
You're dogmeat, pal,
game over.

Read about Bill Paxton here

Friday, 17 February 2017

Peter Skellern - d. 17th February 2017

The world is full
of romantic fools,
but anyone who falls
for a song must know
at the end of the show
onto the empty streets
we go.

read about Peter Skellern here









Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Tara Palmer-Tomkinson - d. February 8th 2017


In certain places‬
‪no-one normal goes 
-‬ Klosters, The Ivy‬ 
I hear your name‬
‪still works the room‬
...such a shame...
...life and soul...

Read about Tara Palmer-Tomkinson here


Alan Simpson - d. February 8th 2017

Stone me,
what a life!
All we did
was sneak inside
a totters yard
or bedsit 
at the wrong end
of a cul-de-sac
to seek the souls
of desperate men.

Saturday, 28 January 2017

John Hurt - d. January 25th 2017


A new script; ‬
‪the role of the outcast,‬
‪the disfigured, the strange.‬
‪It comes from inside, ‬
‪a rush of truth‬
‪bursting through your ribs.‬

read about John Hurt here


Monday, 23 January 2017

Gorden Kaye - d. January 23rd 2017

Seraphim are drawing lots‬
‪to meet you at the gates,‬
‪snigger furtively good
moaning, pause, then‬
‪leesten carefully, I will‬
‪say thees...‬






Jaki Liebezeit - d. January 22nd 2017

In future days
all drummers will be built
like you; part rhythm,
part philosopher,
perfection drawn from prototype
of the original man-machine.


Thursday, 19 January 2017

Rachel Heyhoe Flint - d. January 18th 2017

You emerged
from the long room
expecting no less 
than fair play, 
an uncovered pitch
with even bounce,
the right 
to clear the boundary.

Read about Rachael Heyhoe Flint here

Monday, 16 January 2017

Eugene Cernan - d. January 16th 2017

You depart
for a second time,
not looking back
as you pull the door
behind you,
not knowing whether
you would pass 
this way again.

Read about Eugene Cernan here

Friday, 13 January 2017

William Peter Blatty - d. January 12th 2017

I asked 
where you had gone;
Were you 
writing a new chapter
with Captain Howdy?
A kind of angel replied;
In here. With us. 

read about William Peter Blatty here

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Graham Taylor - d. January 12th 2017

When you saw 
that the angels
had ploughed up 
the pitch in the sky
did you not like that.
You had to laugh: Look!
Everything’s coming up turnips.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Victor Lownes - d. January 11th 2017

For some, Hell 
is a Heaven 
where women 
do not disrobe
at your bidding
and where, 
when you snap 
your fingers,
no one comes running.

read about Victor Lownes here




Sunday, 8 January 2017

Peter Sarstedt - d. January 8th 2017

Wherever you've gone to
the people are exquisite,
cloud-shod and sky-clad,
and all imagine
that you wrote your song
about them.

read about Peter Sarstedt here


Friday, 6 January 2017

Om Puri - d. January 6th 2017

Just let it go, friends;
the broken journey 
from east to west, 
the cameras that cut
to others too soon,
the familiar face
with the little name.