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.

Thursday, 8 December 2016

John Glenn - d. December 8th 2016

Where are the heroes?
Nearly all gone.
The countdown has run
from seven to zero. 

Read about John Glenn here


Greg Lake - d. December 7th 2016

The curtain of style:
how quickly it descends,
only rising once in a while.
Get out while you can, my friend,
to the show that never ends.




Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Peter Vaughan - d. December 6th 2016

There's a shadow
over the land:
you, in the clouds,
armchair, fat cigar,
shark-eyed, unsmiling 
Come in Gabriel,
got a little favour to ask.

Read about Peter Vaughan here



Friday, 2 December 2016

Andrew Sachs - d. November 23rd 2016

Your gift to us; foresight 
of a kind of heaven - 
room upon room
of disgruntled diners,
eating from a table d'hôte
with laughter for every course.



Monday, 21 November 2016

Mose Allison - d. November 15th 2016

Ever since you stole the blues
we been looking for ‘em.
-  You seen this guy?
Yeah, year or two back,
spent some time,
wrote some songs,
moved on.





Monday, 14 November 2016

Leon Russell - d. November 13th 2016

Was that you jamming
with the asylum choir
down at the barrelhouse,
warming the piano stool
all night, voice like a match 
that wouldn't strike?





Friday, 11 November 2016

Robert Vaughn - d. November 11th 2016

Mark this the dark day
when the rule was broken,
the hired gun misfired
and Napoleon 
met his Waterloo.

Read about Robert Vaughn here

Leonard Cohen - d. November 7th 2016

In a million bedsits, 
crumpled hearts,
friable souls
will forever call
to the bard of the bruised
to touch 
their imperfect bodies 
with his mind 

Read about Leonard Cohen here

Monday, 7 November 2016

Jimmy Young - d. November 7th 2016

At the top of the hour
comes the handover,
JY saying BFN,
the dimming 
of the On Air light,
and orft you jolly well go.

Read about Jimmy Young here



Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Carlos Alberto - d. October 25th 2016

I see you, O Capitão,
bombing through
on the overlap,
on legs that never tire,
in a team that never loses,
under a sun that never dims.

Monday, 24 October 2016

Pete Burns - d. October 23rd 2016

All I know is that, to me, 
you looked like a decade
spun round, spun out,
alive, alive, alive, dead.

Read about Pete Burns here



Bobby Vee - d. October 24th 2016

I saw you 
with my thousand eyes
across the Clear Lake, crawling
from another man's wreckage.
Today you bounced 
one last time,
never came down.


Sunday, 23 October 2016

Jimmy Perry - d. October 23rd 2016

We trust history 
to script itself,
but to capture
its platoons of tigers
its malarial troupers,
its faded entertainers,
we volunteered you.




Saturday, 15 October 2016

Jean Alexander - d. October 14th 2016

The look
Rosa Klebb in a turban
The stance
Boadicea on a diet of nettles
The sound
A pack of feral Scouse cats
The taste
Woman, Stanley, woman

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Rod Temperton - d. October 5th 2016

In the suburbs of sound
your endless groove
was always the best in town,
and if we needed to get up
you helped us get down.

Read about Rod Temperton here


Monday, 26 September 2016

Arnold Palmer - d. September 25th 2016

This poem is 
the flight of a good drive, 
the joy of a good lie,
the match dormie,
the silent gallery 
as the last putt 
drops into the cup.

Read about Arnold Palmer here


Friday, 9 September 2016

Prince Buster - d. September 8th 2016

The rudest of boys
is now ghost dancing
issuing his own
Ten Commandments, showing
the company of the skies
how to whine an' grine.

Read about Prince Buster here

Monday, 29 August 2016

Gene Wilder - d. August 29th 2016

You return to a place
in an imagined world
where no-one can shoot straight,
every night is opening night
and every chocolate bar
hides a golden ticket.


Saturday, 20 August 2016

Brian Rix - d. August 20th 2016

A door closes
behind a departing seraph.
You burst in
through a different door,
bent halo, wings askew,
raiment round your ankles.




Saturday, 13 August 2016

Kenny Baker - d. August 13th 2016

In the cosmic hereafter
the voice, the face
will be your own.
Metal will become flesh,
the machine, a man.