My Funeral Arrangements

I If by natural causes

First of all, don’t wear black.
Have an egg and spoon race, or a race in a sack.
Get together on the coast (near the countryside) somewhere at your convenience.
Anywhere will do; a seagull residence.

‘A Day in the Life’ is the song for me, but play what you like.
Peddle what you can sell whether a unicycle or a 7-wheeled bike.
Have a toast to what you’ve already had.
Go crazy but don’t go mad.

Get my favourite chef to cook gilt-head bass.
Recite a poem in fancy-dress after a glass.
When you can’t stand no more, sit down, play pass the parcel.
Or pretend to the throne and make up a joust in a castle.

That’s about it, just don’t wear black.
At midnight, get your grandmother’s best knitting pattern
and go looking for a needle in a haystack.

II If by tragic accident

That’s the way it goes.
Cross your fingers and cross your toes.

If run over, come by foot.
If died in the kitchen, come with a dish to cook.
If in a car, drive and park.
If electrocuted, switch on lights if dark.

Whatever the accident, that’s how it goes.
Cross your fingers and cross your toes.
Watch out for the seagulls from up above!
If I died tripping up, send a postcard with love.

Funeral arrangements as if by natural causes, except (if known)
keep away from anyone accident prone.

III If by murder
Difficult one.
If still dangerous, come with a gun.
If murderer caught, you’ll find out in court.
If still on the loose, hope the chase isn’t wild goose.
Whoever did it will have had their reasons
so no need for revenge or treason seasons.
Just hope it was a good murder and I didn’t suffer.
Who knows, the years ahead may have been rougher?

For funeral, carry on as if by natural causes
but put in timely Harold Pinter pauses.

IV If by suicide

Blimey, what a turn up for the books! Nobody more surprised than me!
At time of writing, it must have been by misadventure, surely!?
However, for now, I’ll go along with the autopsy.

So, here’s my note;
“I’ve never wanted to carry out the unthinkable
‘cos I’ve always thought I never wanted to leave anyone feeling responsible.
You’re not. I’ve been very lucky having had you all.
So makes one wonder why.
Well, you can stand on a balcony for years but when you jump off you fall.
In the end, anyway, we all die.
Sorry if I’ve made it a difficult farewell.
Don’t make a song and dance of it but feel free to do so at the do afterwards.
And remember I won’t be going to heaven, purgatory or hell.
I’ll just be with a pair of scissors, pencils&pens, watercolours&camera, records&drums in
a rented flat at home abroad.”

For funeral, try to act as if by natural causes
but, if I left an unlikely will, invite a lawyer for those complicated clauses.

Published by aprettykettleofpoetry

I was born in Oxford but grew up in Devon. Then I moved to Italy at 28 where, to cut a long story short, I've been teaching English. I've lived in Cagliari, Sardinia since 1995. For writing, I've been influenced by poets such as Phillip Larkin and WB Yeats and lately by Simon Armatage. However my first love is music and I’ve always paid particular attention to lyrics. I got a book of illustrated Beatles lyrics at 18 and that got me thinking about illustrating every poem I would write. I liked that extra ingredient of something visual and have, by and large, illustrated any poem I’ve ever written since. I don't consider myself an artist so doing collages with paper, scissors and glue was a great way to cheat a bit! Sometimes I illustrate poems with photos, or drawings and watercolours, and recently a few oil paintings which is very dfficult! I've had exhibitions of my collages which has been an added bonus. These have been put together with poetry readings. I have read my poems and there are examples here, either just audio, or video with my cat, Moony, named after Keith Moon, in tow. Cat's full name is Moony Gainsbourg Taylor, Telemachus Peter George after other influences! A great influence has been Johnny Morris and his renditions of my poetry. There are examples of his readings here. I have written songs with Chicco Fresu which appear on this blog. He comes up with the music and then I fit the words and melody to it. I’m not a singer but we’ve recorded the songs because otherwise we would have forgotten how they went! I have also written songs by myself, and there are a few examples here too. First and foremost, I like writing. Everything comes from that. The main idea is that poetry always goes together with visuals, music and performance.

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