Epitaph re-visited

Red Wolf Poems (erstwhile We Write Poems) suggests a post-napowrimo exercise to adopt, adapt, improve one of our not-so-satisfactory poems.  I put Napowrimo into my blog search engine and it took me back to 2010, so I skimmed through the list, surprised at the amount I had written.  I got bored after a bit, and stopped at this one,to a prompt to consider our own death.  It seemed incomplete, and crying out for a taste of rhyme.

There’s No Future in it for Napowrimo day 4 2010

I will go down fighting
for that which I hold most dear –
for home and hearth and family –
but when I have to go
I want to lie in idleness
beneath my favourite tree.
Let my biodegradable body,
as compost, enrich the earth .

Here’s the (not very) re-written version.



I will go down fighting
for that which I hold most dear:
for home and family and friends,
but when it’s time for me to go
I hope it’s without fear.

I want to lie in idleness
beneath my favourite tree.
Let my biodegradable body be compost,
ensure nature’s continuity
by adding to fertility:
enrich the soil with me.

I’ve had a few fearful moments
since that poem first was penned,
but so far so good, I am still here,
fighting to the end.


About https://vivinfrance.wordpress.com

All poetry, prose and pictures posted here, except where otherwise stated, is my own, and may only be used elsewhere with my expressed permission. Please don't be inhibited from correcting my bloopers and making suggestions: Most of what I post here is instant, ill-considered and off-the-cuff, in serious need of editing.
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10 Responses to Epitaph re-visited

  1. stimmyabby says:

    “biodegradable body” Ooh, wonderful alliteration. 🙂


  2. thehutts says:

    I hope the heart is now ticking along nicely with its bit of help! Looking forward to seeing you in a few weeks time. Take care and let us know what tree you want to enrich in many years to come. I like the sound of being buried under/or scattered around a fruit tree – my choice would be a victoria plum. Sally


  3. I love what you brought to the rewrite…the humanness of the fear and the value and beauty of going back to the soil…it’s funny, yesterday my son and I were talking about being buried and then planting a tree on top of our bodies…I asked what kind of tree he’d plant on top f me and he said a pear tree and that when it grew fruit that it would be made from me. Kind of morbid but at the same time…it’s not. I thought you’d appreciate the serendipity in this, too…speaking of serendipity, I didn’t realize that Margo’s Thursday Poetics Serendipity was because of you, very cool!

    I hope your day is going well and that you had a nice walk. 🙂


    • Thank you Hannah. A pear tree is a nice thought. I have done very little today, except get my hair cut, as it has been a day of glorious sunshine most of which I spent lounging on the patio with a good book! That challenge to Margo was made more than two years ago!


  4. Oh, I’m never satisfied with my own work. Team Netherworld did NaPoWriMo on Poetry of the Netherworld. I wasn’t one of the contributors.
    I wrote a lot of awful poetry in my teen years, pining for some terrible boy who wasn’t worth my time.
    Your poem wasn’t even terrible in the first place. The second one seems to me to be an abridged version of the first, neither better nor worse. Both are lovely.
    Kind thanks for visiting us at The Netherworld.


  5. I like them both also but for some reason am drawn to the first one. Maybe the brevity of the first corresponds to the brevity of life for me. At any rate these are lovely thoughts about the inevitable.


  6. Yousei Hime says:

    I like them both. 🙂 I’m probably inclined to prefer the rewrite, but I suspect that is my haiku/tanka preferences showing. How did you feel about the process and final product? I’d love hearing about it.


    • As ever, I’m still not satisfied, and will probably have another go at it some time. Editing is an on-going process, automatic, obligatory, that I love doing. I rarely totally re-write, and when I do, it mostly doesn’t work.


      • Yousei Hime says:

        🙂 I think one of the most wonderful things about writing is that we all do it differently, yet we all find writing we love from those differences.

        You keep on doing what works for you, and I’ll keep on reading it.


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