Poem – Cremation (By David Russell)



I’ve always believed in cremation;

Flames bleach the world, unclutter living things.


Let scum survivors, grasshoppers

Leave cemeteries a mess

Of living impulses dismembered.

Not knowing fire’s totality

But sickly honouring it stunting

In tortured carbon stench.


I’ve always believed in cremation

Ever since I read of great skull mountains;

Those potash handfuls are so clean –

A powdered love of life.


I think of bones and masonry,

Of skeletons and architects.

Humanity’s erections;

Are we the greater polyps?

No – we are parasites.


No longer do we draw from deserts

Our pride’s stark affirmation

But – aimless – puncture, scar and crater

Real skin, flesh, sinew, bone.


Prime tombs remain, aimed starwards,

Steering earth;

For ones they were, for everyone.

Termite-wretches, harsh-bound inside one frame

With all for others.


So is this past? Are we now free –

With monuments so empty, blinded to stars,

Time-choked, chasing a mercury present –

That wriggling lump we would congeal

To parry our mortality –

Reassured joke, bluff, never using

By thinking of dismantling

When Fury, justly channeled,

Skims from eccentric earth?


The first was built to say

“We stand forever, cleaving heaven and earth.”


The last: “We can accept the moment only;

When all’s affirmed, we are as powder.”


I’ve always believed in cremation.


Author Bio:

David Russell was born in 1940. Resident in the UK. Writer of poetry, literary criticism, speculative fiction and romance. Main poetry collection Prickling Counterpoints (1998); poems published in online International Times. Main speculative works High Wired On (2002); Rock Bottom (2005). Translation of Spanish epic La Araucana, Amazon 2013. Romances: Self’s Blossom; Explorations; Further Explorations; Therapy Rapture; Darlene, An Ecstatic Rendezvous (all pub Extasy (Devine Destinies). Singer-songwriter/guitarist. Main CD albums Bacteria Shrapnel and Kaleidoscope Concentrate. Many tracks on You Tube.


This poem is part of the complete collection; Speculum: Collected Poetry and Prose, by David Russell.

View or Download the complete collection here in PDF format.

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