In honour of Mothers Day, Sunday Sermons reprints this classic Sermon.

Casual Guy

Speaking at my Mothers’ Funeral


Ah the lies we tell at Funerals,

the things that are never said!


I am my family’s heart and tongue

but they trust neither one,

afraid the “Bad Seed” will say something


or cause an ugly scene,

they prefer the paid-for cut and paste platitudes

of some “Certificate-III” qualified Celebrant,

and to hide their hypocrisy

behind bland and polite facades.

Let the lawyers loose later

to tie up the loose ends. They want

nothing messy or uncomfortable now.

They prey for a quick and clinical ceremony

and a swift return to business as usual.


The Celebrant has been secretly instructed

to try and limit my turn at the microphone,

but I am a poet with over twenty years experience

of people trying to get me off a stage

before I’m good and ready,

so she has no hope at all.

I look out. There are faces there so terrified

of what I might know or do or say

that I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

Instead I ignore them and I start to sing.*


I sing my own loss and sorrow

for the poor, lost soul that was my Mother.

Birds gather at the doorway and windows to listen.

I sing to the birds.

The silence shouts.

Only my daughter weeps.

The bad-tempered Celebrant publicly rebukes me

for taking too long,

swiftly winds up the show

and stalks off.


Later there is tea and scones on the lawn.

I feed my scones to the magpies and butcher birds and crows.

The sullen staff tell us we have to move on, there’s a big

funeral on next with a hundred and fifty people

and our tiny affair is taking too long.


My family leaves making

insincere promises to stay in touch,

get the kids together, etc. etc.

I wave goodbye, knowing

I will never see any of them

ever again.



motherhood Jpig


reverend profile red

The Reverend Hellfire is an example of an anaerobically respiring organism

which alcoholically ferments. A range of different enzymes reduces these molecules

to ethanol and carbon dioxide.



~ by reverendhellfire on May 8, 2016.

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