Packing Him Off
On June 26, 2017

This poem highlights what is, to my mind, the somewhat hypocritical nature of Christian funerals. It is dedicated to my old friend and climbing partner, Keith Derrick, who made his one way trip just over thirty years ago and is still sorely missed by everyone who knew him.

He used to say that he
didn’t entirely approve of funerals
and almost always declined
invitations to attend.
It wasn’t as if he
had no respect for the deceased,
quite the contrary,
he just thought that all the gloom
was hypocritical.
For surely, he would say,
death is but a moving on
to greater things,
to pastures new.
Rather like a one-way ticket to Australia.
And didn’t it seem strange
that the priest always sounded so sad
whilst committing one of his parishioners
to all the wonders of life everlasting.
Anyway, whatever his reasons
he hardly ever attended funerals.
Until now that is.
And he was right.
The priest is rather sad,
as are we all,
sending our friend away,
packing him off to Australia.

© David Hermelin 2016

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