Sunday, April 18, 2010

Poem 19: Obit Fit

I wander around obituaries
reaping grimaces,
unwaxing eloquencies.
You, Mr. Hospitality -
who loved everyone
your warm heart
and bright outlook on life
do nothing
for me.
Where did never saying
an unkind word
get you?
Quit staring at me.
Don't you know
 your picture will fade
 silently over time,
be as faithful
 as you were
  to extinction?
I know,
I get it.
Death notices
© 2010 by Kathryn Feigal. All rights reserved. 


  1. Wow, that was appropriately grim... I mean that in a good way.

  2. Death kinda does that to you.

  3. That's why I keep my chess skills brushed up...

  4. Maybe you should skip the obituaries for a day or two ... :-)

  5. I'd be kinda interested to read my own obituary. Too bad I won't be able.

    I've heard tell the Greeks had only one question: "Did he have passion?"

    Yes. I did. Mebbe that'll satisfy the Greeks. Not me.

  6. this is a bit macabre, and funny, and completely representative of my family's humor.
    when my husband died (just before my birthday), my youngest sister sent me a card that said: "you know you're getting old when you read the obituaries every day...(inside of card) find out who's dating again.
    oh yes, death notices us. and we notice death right back.

  7. Oh heart, if one should say to you that the soul perishes like the body, answer that the flower withers, but the seed remains. ~Kahlil Gibran


  8. ALESA - Do you mean that chess keeps your mind off death? Or is there some rich middle earth legend you've cooked up in your mind where mastering both games makes it possible to transcend into another realm painlessly? I wouldn't put it past you.

    S. ETOLE - (sideways smiley face - I've never made one before - how do you do it?) - I think you get the picture and can smile along with me at my passing irritation at this inevitability.

    JONAS - If you write your own, you'll be able to. Don't you just love the ones that begin, "I died today?" ....or maybe people where you live don't do this....or maybe you don't read the obituaries daily...or maybe you're so passionately living life, Death doesn't know what to do with you.

    STANDING - I love your sister. Can we all meet for lunch? BTW, the Death Notice line was a play on words. Death Notice = Obituary. Do you think anyone got that?

    GABI - Dear, sweet, unwavering, GABI, my 'seed'' embraces the blessed assurance of 'something else,' but my 'flower' wants to hike and bike and write and love in this realm and struggles daily with newspaper reminders that the construct of time limits me (in my present mortal state). Also, there's seeing my mom daily....I'm not too comforted by her devastated demeanor and attitude, and she is a woman of tremendous faith.

  9. Oh no! I've been pegged... It was bound to happen, and I couldn't have chosen a better person to do it.

    I believe the traditional tale is that one has a chance to save their life provided they manage to beat the grim reaper in a game of chess.

    That story, however, is not of my devising... It's quite old and has been used in a number of modern tales... For example, in an Ingmar Bergman movie (can't recall which) or in the sequel of the Bill and Ted movie (though the latter may have been a tribute to the Bergman retelling).

  10. My dear friend, isn’t that what life is about? Hiking and biking up and down while being constantly reminded that we are immortals experiencing mortality! That what really matters is NOW!
    Your mom… maybe what she is showing you is that she is strong enough to let go… embrace your time with her.


  11. death, unfortunately, is an inescapable part of life...but love always live on.

    sending lots of positive vibes your way.
    one love.

  12. This is powerful and overturns perspectives. We like to hold on to threads of positive memories, contributions.

  13. kass-my sister lives in new orleans, coordinating might get tricky!
    i got the obit/death notice play, but then i've had to write a death notice.
    "oh, by the way, did you notice that i'm dead? no? oh well."

  14. You just keep rolling out the good ones. I know for a fact you never run out of ideas.
    Don't all good writers want to compose their own obits?

  15. Ah, Kassie, death becomes you. Your words about Mr. Hopitality might well be applicable to that old irrational optimist, me.

    So, if you're going to become the queen of the dead, Kass, you may want to do your shopping here.

    WV - efinu. Efinu don't stop putting out such remarkable poetry, I'm going to stop even trying to be a wordsmith.

  16. ALESA - I'm looking forward to your version of the story.

    GABI - You're right, no matter what our beliefs, what really matters is NOW. For some reason that I don't care to analyze, your words brought tears to my eyes about my mom. "...strong enough to let go."

    SE'LAH - Thank you. You're right. "...the love we make is equal to the love we take." At least, I hope you're right.

    PAUL - Yes, but sometimes we hold on too tightly.

    mis(under)STANDING - "News of your demise has been greatly misunderexagerated." G. Bush

    MARIE - Have you composed yours?

    LESLIE - Your 'here' link didn't work. Is it that huge store in the desert with the weird stuff?

    No, no, not that!!! Don't ever stop writing.

  17. Trying again! But if it doesn't work this time, it's Funny stuff like the Bonanza Gift Shop carries, but this place claims to be "characterized by morbid and grimly satirical humor". Funny dead people stuff.

    I can't stop writing, Kass. It's beyond my ability to control.

    WV - dilti. I'm sometimes dilti of exhibiting a morbid and grimly satirical sense of humor.

  18. You've got to stop looking at's the first sign of you'll be clipping them out and stashing them...scrap book if creative or a secret drawer for your personal grim pleasure! I'm tellin yer...

    ..neat poem though ;)

  19. Now THAT was a poem with a 'tude!

    Me likey!!

  20. K-- this poem hit hard; excellent work. Death or pending death of immediate family brings everything to front burner.

    Two days ago a very close friend of mine passed away after a long wrenching illness. Most of her friends and family had long since abandoned her (out of sheer ignorance). Turns out she had written a masterful obituary for herself -- great way to have the last word. The piece was loving but said what needed to be said -- she held her power until 'the end.'

    Obituaries and funerals can't possibly sum up a life. How cool if we all said what needed to be said (and listened) while we were still here. Failing to do so is what makes the passing hard.

    Footnote: I had asked this friend before she died to send me a signal or two from beyond. She has done so, 3 times in 2 days. So I guess an obituary is just a bookmark after all.

    Love -- PP


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