A NOTE TO MY EXECUTORS by Barrie Purnell



When I can no longer marvel at the work of art that is the rose,

Or smell its soft incense in air full of the gossamer wings of bees;

No more enjoy the luminous velvet flowers of the Clematis that

Paints itself among the contorted branches of that long dead tree;

Lost to me forever will be the hungry Blackbirds shrill delight as it defeats

My elaborate defenses guarding bushes laden with jeweled fruit;

You may take my place on the seat, where I once paused to reflect,

All I ask is that you will treat my garden with respect


When my belongings are distributed to new owners as yet unknown,

All those precious and sentimental artifacts that enriched my life.

The miniature paintings, scattered like precious gemstones on my walls,

My furniture, fashioned in golden oak, by long forgotten artisans.

Objects containing nostalgic memories they are the signposts of my life.

Such personal possessions, and these few lines, are all that I will leave.

I have hidden a fraction of my soul in every item you select,

So please handle them with care and treat them with respect.


When I start my journey towards oblivion, or some unexpected heaven,

You may read these inelegant verses and be reminded of my life.

The time having come at last when I have had to drop the part I played.

My true self emerging from life’s deceptions and subterfuge.

My supposed intelligence, looted from the waves of late night radio,

Exposed as shallow camouflage for the ignorance of a common man.

I hope that you will say, at least as far as you can recollect,

He always treated his friends with generosity and respect.


When I am gone scatter me beneath the oak trees in Owlet Wood,

Onto the emerald moss, that lies like green snow drifts upon the ground,

Lit by sharp shards of sunlight that filter through the tiers of crimpled leaves.

The moss silences your footfall and leaves no memory that you’ve passed

And the silence flows back into the space that you had borrowed.

Do not pollute this place with words, nature’s silence is the ultimate poetry.

Leave me in that quiet, fragile place where nature moves on unchecked.

All I ask of you is that you treat my memory with respect.

Owlet Wood – click on picture.



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