About Otwituaries


I started tweeting these poetic obituaries via Twitter on the death of Ernest Borgnine in July 2012. After a while a friend asked if I would gather them together, so I have created this blog as an archive. New Otwituaries will appear here as well as being broadcast via Twitter and Facebook.


All the Otwituaries are written very quickly on the day their subjects pass away, so are maybe a little lacking in polish, but they are all from the heart. They represent the people who have, in some way, touched my life - actors, sportsmen and women, TV personalities, writers, musicians and explorers. These people are already immortal, and therefore don't need my help, but I hope you enjoy reading these short poetic sketches all the same.

Monday, 17 April 2017

Clifton James - d. April 15th 2017

In this Parish,
everybody needs
to breach the peace
once in a while,
cut and run,
churn up the bayou
and that means you, smartass.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

John Geils Jr. - d. April 11th 2017

Eventually
all blood runs cold,
and phantom rockers
may behold
their cloud-girt angel
as God's centrefold.



Saturday, 8 April 2017

Brian Matthew - d. April 8th 2017

This was our old mate, 
foot-tapping and avid till the end, 
inverting the old cliché; 
if you don’t remember the 60’s 
you could still go there. 

Read about Brian Matthew here


Monday, 3 April 2017

Ikutaro Kakehashi - d. April 2nd 2017

101 reasons to mourn 
303 basslines unfolding
606 sequences bleeping
808 rhythms still looping
909 years from now

Read about Ikutaro Kakehashi here

Monday, 27 March 2017

David Storey - d. March 27th 2017

Your words were tough 
as a throat-high tackle;
fable of the Northern man,
floodlit, frostbit,
bundled into touch,
face ground into the mud,
try-line nowhere in sight.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Colin Dexter - d. March 21st 2017

The Wagner, the crypticisms. Clever,
complex as the pint roiling on the bar.
We are not the sum of our endeavours
unless, of course, we are.

Read about Colin Dexter here


Martin McGuinness - d. March 21st 2017

Yes, journeys need a map, 
but knowing when
the one-way street’s a cul-de-sac
is not enough; then
seek the courage to divert
and not look back. 


Sunday, 19 March 2017

Chuck Berry - d. March 18th 2017

The chapel bell tolls
for a riotous muse.
I heard Tchaikovsky wept
when they told him the news.
So long rhythm,
here comes the blues.

read about Chuck Berry here

Monday, 27 February 2017

Gerald Kaufman - d. February 26th 2017

I could not concur
with every syllable,
each ardent principle,
yet still, here is myrrh
for leaderless causes,
for fatherless houses.

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Bill Paxton - d. February 25th 2017

So you found a way
to get out of 
this chickenshit outfit.
But how to say this?
You're dogmeat, pal,
game over.

Read about Bill Paxton here

Friday, 17 February 2017

Peter Skellern - d. 17th February 2017

The world is full
of romantic fools,
but anyone who falls
for a song must know
at the end of the show
onto the empty streets
we go.

read about Peter Skellern here









Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Tara Palmer-Tomkinson - d. February 8th 2017


In certain places‬
‪no-one normal goes 
-‬ Klosters, The Ivy‬ 
I hear your name‬
‪still works the room‬
...such a shame...
...life and soul...

Read about Tara Palmer-Tomkinson here


Alan Simpson - d. February 8th 2017

Stone me,
what a life!
All we did
was sneak inside
a totters yard
or bedsit 
at the wrong end
of a cul-de-sac
to seek the souls
of desperate men.

Saturday, 28 January 2017

John Hurt - d. January 25th 2017


A new script; ‬
‪the role of the outcast,‬
‪the disfigured, the strange.‬
‪It comes from inside, ‬
‪a rush of truth‬
‪bursting through your ribs.‬

read about John Hurt here


Monday, 23 January 2017

Gorden Kaye - d. January 23rd 2017

Seraphim are drawing lots‬
‪to meet you at the gates,‬
‪snigger furtively good
moaning, pause, then‬
‪leesten carefully, I will‬
‪say thees...‬






Jaki Liebezeit - d. January 22nd 2017

In future days
all drummers will be built
like you; part rhythm,
part philosopher,
perfection drawn from prototype
of the original man-machine.


Thursday, 19 January 2017

Rachel Heyhoe Flint - d. January 18th 2017

You emerged
from the long room
expecting no less 
than fair play, 
an uncovered pitch
with even bounce,
the right 
to clear the boundary.

Read about Rachael Heyhoe Flint here

Monday, 16 January 2017

Eugene Cernan - d. January 16th 2017

You depart
for a second time,
not looking back
as you pull the door
behind you,
not knowing whether
you would pass 
this way again.

Read about Eugene Cernan here

Friday, 13 January 2017

William Peter Blatty - d. January 12th 2017

I asked 
where you had gone;
Were you 
writing a new chapter
with Captain Howdy?
A kind of angel replied;
In here. With us. 

read about William Peter Blatty here

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Graham Taylor - d. January 12th 2017

When you saw 
that the angels
had ploughed up 
the pitch in the sky
did you not like that.
You had to laugh: Look!
Everything’s coming up turnips.