Standing so often at the edge of life -
the rasping sound of final breaths
as fluttering fingers lose their hold -;
Casting so often the words
at which the spellbound crematorium curtains
severing again, again, again,
the living from the dead;
I need no memento mori,
and, without success,
on days off,
hunt the lost delusion of immortality.
June 11th 96.
One of the occupational hazards of priesthood is an over-familiarity with the business of death. At the local crematorium when I wrote this poem, an unseen operator closed the curtains while the priest faced the coffin, which made it look as if we were doing this just by the power of our words!
Memento Mori are things which remind you that you will one day die.
These poems are the fruit of almost 30 years of occasional writing. They were written as private reflections, or for friends and family. I hadn't intended them for public consumption, but people have told me now and then that they thought I should share them, so I have. I shall add new poems if and when I write them, though a lot of my words tend to go into sermons these days!
If you find something you like and find helpful, you are welcome to use it and share it, but please make sure my name stays attached to it.
The poems are posted in no particular order, but the labels - click on links below - should help you find poems on various themes.
There are also separate pages on this blog containing links to music composed by my husband, Philip, and to Christmas stories which I have told here at Seal in place of sermons on Christmas Day.