ODE TO DEATH
SWEAT DEATH, serene mother of sleep
Clasp me to your loving breast
In eternal slumber
And vanquish cruel life for evermore
GENTLE DEATH, supreme mother of all
Cast your tranquil gaze
On this afflicted being
And take me into your haven of rest
CLOSE my weary eyes with a kiss
And cleanse my body
Of life’s fetid breath
Envelope my soul in your bosom of peace
And let not vile nature
Odious creation of the unknown
Intrude into thy sanctuary of everlasting bliss.
Jimmy Scott was an ordinary man who had a taste for jazz and a nice glass of whisky. I first met Jimmy when I became friends with his son Ronnie at secondary school. Although Ronnie and I were good pals we each went down our own separate paths in life but I continued to keep in touch with Jimmy. Whilst working as a bricklayer Jimmy received a serious back injury caused by a fall. This injury was to cause him extreme discomfort for the remainder of his life but he refused to be bitter.
Many an evening I would sit in his company and enjoy his good humour and satirical take on life. Like many of his generation, jimmy was a down to earth hard working man who said what he thought and meant what he said. However, he said it in a way that endeared others to listen and value his opinion. I often sought Jimmy’s council and valued his advice and I will never forget those words of wisdom or my dear old friend.
Nearer the end of his life Jimmy never grew tired of his family or friends but he did become increasingly tired of the incapacity. It wasn’t until the day of Jimmy’s funeral that I discovered he was a black belt in Judo. This modesty was typical of a very unassuming but talented individual whose wisdom and philosophy has had an immense influence on my own opinions.
Among Jimmy’s hidden talents was a flare for putting pen to paper and writing poetry. A few years before his death Jimmy had one of his poems published. Ironically the poem was entitled ‘Ode to death’.