Memento Maurie

May 26, 2015 at 6:04 pm | Posted in Poem | 7 Comments
Tags: , , , , , ,


gifts me a






To write



Or just for

next time.



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  1. Who does t enjoy a beautiful pen. Like a wrist watch, we notice and appreciate them as a mark of distinction. Though there is something tacky about a branded pen, except a nudge a mourner to write hand written notes of thanks. Hand written notes … like a beautiful pen or wrist watch, today have become tokens of distinction.

    • Hi, Catherine. As always, I appreciate your perspective. If this were a nice pen, a discrete logo might be OK. As it’s a cheap, nasty one, I don’t think it should have anything on it. Yet it sports a colour logo and the name on one side, and the web address on the other. Maybe I’m just a twitchy, grieving arty type. Or maybe the schtick further degrades the plastic. I got a stunning four-page hand-written condolence letter from a chap I’ve only recently come to know. I felt his was truly a grand gesture. He could’ve written it with a twig dipped in McDonald’s special sauce and it would’ve lost none of its gravitas. I just look at this damn grey branded biro and picture my dead dad in the cold ground. Still, what token (if any) should one expect for a paltry $7,500 send off? Kind regards and thanks for your thoughts, P.

  2. The dignity we afford our loved ones when we say goodbye is degraded by thoughtless ‘marketing’.

    • I’m glad for your input, Desolie. When I first sat down with the funeral director, he also presented me with an el cheapo (branded) vinyl notepad holder. ‘That’s yours to keep; it’s our gift to you.’ I laid it next to the banged-up, sticky-taped, rubbber-banded cardboard notebook that had accompanied me on every day of dad’s four-year Parkinson’s hell ride. It looked shabby as, but I wanted to note the details of dad’s funeral in it. Yet out of politeness, I instead used the ‘gift’ pen and paper. It felt very wrong. I wish I’d stuck with my ratty old tome. I’m a completist, but it doesn’t even feel right to glue the new page into the old book. What a thing to get upset about! Stewing about it ruined me yesterday. A sign, of course, of much deeper things. So strange how emotion finds the oddest outlet. Kind regards and thanks for being here, P.

  3. Wonderful post and wonderful comments. You share a noble journey, Paul. xo

    • Thank you greatly, Ad. May you carry the torch long after I’m gone. Best regards, P.

  4. Chris



    Thanks for enduring my rant, Chris. The grieving process is so weird. Sometimes the clutching mind wheels around, rabid for any target. Who’d have thought a plastic pen would serve?!


    I know ‘Wow?” doesn’t exactly provide much in the way of feedback. I thought the idea of (and pun on) the pen as a memento mori was brilliant. Yes, a pen seems tacky, but if nothing else look at it as a cue for reflection on a life well-lived and on the things that matter in life. Then it really is a gift!


    I was hoping you’d get that one, Chris. I thought Pro Patria Maurie might be stretching the friendship. Your take on the pen is generous – as are you. I need voices like yours in my life. Thank you kindly. P.


    FYI, the undertaker’s real name rhymes with Eddie. I wanted to conceal his identity without losing the cadence. I thought of Morrie, which is handily redolent of the deathly (but saccharine?) Tuesdays with Morrie. Yet I didn’t wish to appear anti-Semitic. So I changed the spelling and achieved a bonus homage to Maurie Fields (lately) of Hey Hey it’s Saturday. I try to keep an (albeit hidden) Australian theme in my works. Maurie Fields died pretty much while telling jokes on the telly. All the world’s a stage. Life’s a joke. etc. I’m starting to see how Wilde spent an entire morning taking out a comma, and an afternoon putting it back in again. Would that my work warrants the effort!

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