MAG Poetry Competition 2011 – 4th Prize Winner

One Last Request

by Robert Wetton

I have one last request- I always do,
But this last thing I ask of you,
Will pose no challenge- will ask no ill,
Will not be written in my will.

What is this task of which I ask?
To place my body on the grass,
Before my breath has ceased to heave,
Before my soul has taken leave.

Just carry me to some wide field,
One in the country side- concealed,
A field up high, with views below,
Where pretty little flowers grow.

And as I leave my skin and bones,
There won't be any deathly moans,
There will be laughs, oh joyous day!
For with the wind my soul will play!

My final sight will be a treat,
My final breath will feel complete,
For as I go, I'll see the sky,
Oh what a pleasant way to die!

I choose to stay above the ground,
And decompose without a sound,
No shovel, no picks, no wooden box,
No heavy chiselled marble blocks.

My flesh will nourish plant and seed,
These bones of mine will still proceed,
To be support for life on earth,
To witness death and then rebirth.

I came from womb into a room,
All white and sterile- like a tomb,
The entry was no choice of mine,
But exit will be my design.

Added: 18.04.2011

Judges' comments on this poem

04.05.2011

Interesting topic liked the last two lines, nice poem flowed well

05.05.2011

I absolutely loved this poem. By far the best of any of the twelve I have read in this round of judging.

22.05.2011

VERY clever - loving the last stanza. Beautiful observation of birthing room. Never thought about it like that...

08.06.2011

This is a lovely poem, which I rated 2. Could be improved with more consistency of rhythm (e.g line 1) and losing the inversion in line 16.

08.06.2011

I liked the steady rhythm and the idea behind this poem.

08.06.2011

Really good rimes, meter well-maintained. Like the last stanza with contrast to birth. Some lines feel a bit repetitive. Really well crafted

09.06.2011

beautiful presentation of a great question... the end

09.06.2011

The powerful content jarred with the dum de dum rhymes - making it half way between a ditty and a very serious heavyweight poem.

09.06.2011

Nice idea but I felt the rhyming couplets wrong for the tone of the poem. Feels constrained by its rhyme.

10.06.2011

Loved the fun in the dark side...a close one! Deceptively light...

10.06.2011

I adore this poem. I think I'll have it read at my funeral. The last stanza is my favourite. It made me smile.

10.06.2011

Delighted to find that at least one of the final twelve poems rhymes. It's too easy to write unstructured ramblings and call them poetry.

11.06.2011

brilliant last stanza

11.06.2011

the morbid content and pathetic tone jar with the easy verse and rhyme, as I suppose they're meant to

17.06.2011

I see absolutely clearly before my eyes exactly the spot where this poem takes us..

17.06.2011

that's how i'd like to go, very good.

18.06.2011

a touching request well realised in a poem. worked through to completion successfully - makes traditional burials seem odd.

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