In the narthex of Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church there’s an impressive plaque on the wall that lists the name of each Rector of the congregation with his years served in that role. As you can see in this photograph, my name is currently at the bottom, which is a strange thing to ponder, especially when I sometimes walk into the empty church alone. In all honesty, it feels — at least for a moment — as though I’m looking at my own grave, incomplete perhaps, but very much real. However, that’s not really such a bad thing to contemplate from time to time.
It reminds me of this haiku challenge on Osler’s Razor, the blog that inspired Haiku Friday on Tumbleweed Almanac. Mark Osler, who is both a friend and a professor at the University of St. Thomas Law School in Minneapolis, Minnesota, invited his readers to write their own obituary in haiku. So this is what I wrote, connecting something odd about myself to my paternal grandfather, who was born in 1894:
Like his Granddaddy,
wore an old-fashioned collar,
only backwards. Priest.
My wife accepted the invitation, too, creating this unforgettable image:
What obit? There will
be too much wailing, weeping,
to read clearly. Duh.
What would you write about yourself in three short lines? Remember to use five syllables in the first line, seven syllables in the second line, and five syllables in the third line. Then share it here in the comments so we’ll always remember you!
4 thoughts on “Haiku Friday: Getting the Last Word”
Somehow I am motivated to re-cast two famous American epitaphs in haiku. First:
Author of independence
Second (two verses for this one):
Here lies Ben Franklin
Like an old book, food for worms;
Yet to appear in
A new edition
Corrected and amended
By the one Author.
Not sure if I have ever done this before, but here is my Friday Haiku obit
Married a fantastic gal
Died happy in TX
Grace comes despite me. Jesu
Have mercy on me.
I know I’m late but I could use a creative outlet right now. 🙂
Laughter. Tears. Words. Dreams.
She wore her heart on her sleeve.
Looks good on you, too.