Death Poems from the recent ‘Art of Dying’ Retreat

On behalf of the survivors of our recent retreat I proudly present our compilation (by no means complete) of poems written and performed on the final day.

love Jez


Life and death

“Like the foot before and the foot behind in walking.”

An image floats before me; a two headed Janus

A coin spinning, like a life lived,

A precarious balance of cause and effect.

Returning as it must, to the Great Reality, to eventually stop.

Coming to rest in the eternal flow of all things.



Ever present, I know you well,

Do you know me?

Of course you’ve taken from my life so far

And given in equal amounts

With faceless visitations

With no vexation nor malice

Without you what would be prized or of value?

Instead a meaningless sequence of perpetual happenings….


Death Metaphor

I am a library book

Nearing the end of my chapter

Soon I will be returned to the library

Put back on the shelf

Waiting to be borrowed again and re-read.


No Time

On the clock or with the breath

“The spiritual being with the physical presence”

Has gone.


No 2

I know where I’m going

Who’s coming with me is up to them

Out of love, duty or desire

To Buckland Beacon in a jar

A John Leach one I hope

To be scattered blown or washed away

Back to the elements with Dad, Gran and Granddad

But not yet Mum.


In the zendo

Evening zazen

Wrapped in birdsong

all is still

We all leave


On my last walk

Passing white flowers

And sheep bones

I meet the empty swing


When I cycle

Off that cliff

Upon my banjo

Play a riff.