How to die

Punting on the River Avon, Christchurch, New Zealand

1. Be strong, be fit.

 2. Take your medicine.

 3. Love every love, every leaf in your life
even more than before. 

4. Complete your life work. Almost.
(Leave some for others to do.) 

5. Say welcome and goodbye
day by day, with lips and eyes.

6. Be gracious
to the lady bringing tea

7. Wait for your children
to arrive.

8. Stop the medication when you’re ready
and your dear ones all agree.

9. Insist on one last picnic
by the river, with beer.

10. Die when it’s time
and you’re tired.


poem by rachel mcalpine, photo of the River Avon in Christchurch New Zealand by Robert Cutts, both cc-by-2.0

On remand

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Raindrops squatting on a velvet raft.
Midges scattering on demand.
You’re on remand from the ward today,
and back tomorrow. 

Into the pit
for a tune and a tweak.
Off the track
then back on the road again.


pic & poem by rachel mcalpine cc-by-2.0