I watch the funeral pyre on TV burn
and imagine the stink of human flesh.
Bill always used to laugh with us about
wanting a Viking funeral on the creek –
a warrior on fire drifting out to sea,
or to leave his corpse out for the birds;
of course we took him to the crematorium,
same as everybody else. Does planning
our own departure help those left behind
or give us some vestige of control
from beyond the grave? We joke, too,
about haunting those we love, a threat
made in vain as we choose the poems
and songs we want used to say goodbye.
I’ve now lived longer than my father,
step into the unknown years he never did.


Rupert M Loydell

From The Geometric Kingdom, a book by Maria Stadnicka & Rupert Loydell,
available at:


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