Windswept tidal flat, Golden Bay, New Zealand
Windswept tidal flat, Golden Bay, New Zealand

while you live
be taut
be canvas

while you die
be muslin
be light

let the wind
blow through
you can never be lonely now

you cannot lose
what you have shared
and spread

you skim the horizon
you melt into moonlight
you make the sky go bright

poem and photo by rachel mcalpine, daily prompt “horizon”, the Daily Post

More tips on dying well

Frost on a skylight, Prue Kennard
Frost on a skylight, photo Prue Kennard cc-by-2.0

Be yourself, and in extremis
be yourself extremely.

For this is the way you will be remembered,
and this is the way you will die.

poem by rachel mcalpine cc-by-2.0

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