The Last Rites 

  They came from miles around 
  To pay homage to this old man 
  Rafters echoing with old Wesleyan hymns 
        Of an amalgamated church 
        Not his own 
        A church with a small well maintained 
        Steeple across the road 
        Was his 
        "We will go back she said - just for a laugh" 

        We did - I have the postcard 
        The postcard bought in this church 
        People now drink, smoke and laugh 
        In this most sacred of places 
        For it is now a restaurant with stained glass windows 
        She was angry when she saw faces, names, we both knew 
        Photos on mahogany walls of yesterday 
        And when she saw his signature on a deed of sale 
        Cried and ran out 'of the Church' 

   The piano played and the crowd pushing to get nearer 
   A minister's sombre tones kept them in their seats 

   "It's time you went up" she  said 
   "An hour before the service is the only time you have" 
   Old men were gathered around 
   Archaic rituals conducted before one of their own 
   Rituals as old if not older than the rituals of the church 
   The old men parted like waves before a rock 
   For me to meet this man, to say good bye 
   The coffin will be closed, locked down for the service 
   A wasted thin old face shone up 
   Teeth jutting out in that last grin 
   Dressed to die dressed to fry 
   I stood before this old man for the last time 
   Reached out and laid a hand on his chest 
   "You did all right Dad." 
   As I walked away I could hear the sound of the nails being driven home


 (C) Copyright 1999
All Rights Reserved

The Nexus Collection

A New Year



Dusty Boots

East meets West



I Think

Loving and Liking

Many Faces

On a Full Stomach

Poker Days
Slippery Lines

Techno Marvel
The Head Ward
The Last Rites

The School Yard

Tired Eyes

Winding Roads

Without a Word

Where have all the young men gone ?