Thursday, May 06, 2010

Willie's Funeral

Willie Neill’s Funeral

The trees were pale and bare
like fossils framed in mud,
the sun a pulse in water.
The day eked out, long,
thin as old skin
or air too high in the hills.

I held a cord:
he wasn’t heavy to my hands.
A piper played
though it was fair to say
the blackbird was better.
At funerals the poets

grow more bald and scared
of death. They eat lunch
and leave, anxious
to court life again.
I was not ashamed
to cry, not for the Makar,

too spent for tears,
for myself I suppose,
the bleed of years.


Wigeon said...

It's hard to find the right words to comment on the loss of your poet friend that aren't the usual, or corny or crass - and for a man that I didn't know. That said, these are very beautiful, tender and heartfelt words.

Titus said...


Sorlil said...

Lovely. The trees as fossils is a fantastic image and the humour with the blackbird intensifies the sorrow. A lovely tribute.

hope said...

A fitting tribute and lovingly shared.

pilgrimchick said...

I really enjoyed this poem. It is a great credit that a sense of loss can create such beautiful art.