Letter of wishes
When I am gone, do not lay me to rest
In some town-council cemetery: my bones
Would ache for all eternity, distressed
By unfamiliar soil and serried stones.
Don’t bury me at sea: I’ve no desire
For an afterlife with Davy Jones’s crew;
Nor box me up and feed me to the fire:
The planet doesn’t need my CO2.
No – take me to the woods. The trees will keep
A vigil, that you need not lose your years
In watching me. On rainy days, they’ll weep
For me, that your sweet eyes may know no tears.
But now, the sky is clearing. No more thought
Of this: there’s much to do – and time is short.
This came to me while I was walking the dog this morning. It was cold and raining, and the woods were ankle-deep in the special mud we have around here that manages to be both treacherously slippery and unbelievably sticky at the same time. I knew I wanted to write a sonnet: it started out, perhaps understandably, as a rather melancholy piece, but happily, I think it’s turned out rather upbeat. I guess the poem knew how it wanted to be written: all I had to do was stay out of the way.