For the man who buries beds

Here is a poem in draft. I seem to be very preoccupied with death and dying just now… This is a poem for my father who is ageing fast.

Much of this year has been taken up with seeing him through hospital visits… he is a natural eccentric, as I imagine the title might explain.

For the man who buries beds

Strange it is, watching you shrink
like mud man left out to dry
under a hot sun.
Preparing for birth,
at the dawn of your closure.
I wonder who will emerge
when the cracks run deep
and the edifice crumbles.

And if I could water
a life at sunset
prolong its fierce aching
who would it serve?
No, at best I hope
to watch you walk
through that door
with a head held high.

After all, I’ve already watched
you, aged 84, take up a shovel
to cut the rough ground
and make a hole
large enough for a double mattress.
There’s nothing new
to your pragmatism
or your fearlessness.

About Knitting Time: art and poetry on the theme of psychosis

'Knitting Time: a journey through loss' is a poetry and visual arts project reflecting on the theme of art and psychosis. A book and exhibition of the work is due to be launched at Pallant House Gallery in Chichester, West Sussex on 10 October 2013 to celebrate World Mental Health Day. During this research and development phase I want to gather responses, thoughts, recollections and comments, so please fill in my surveymonkey at and add your let me know what you think? Or feel free to email me via knitting-time [at]
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4 Responses to For the man who buries beds

  1. Debjani says:

    Your father is certainly a character and seems to have inspired your original and striking poem.

  2. Peter R says:

    What a moving poem. Thanks Colin

  3. detrich says:

    NIcely put. Death and birth. The wheel turns for us all. You deal with it well so far. Long may your reflections remain positive and moving

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