“After My Death” by Allan Lake

I’ll go quietly means there’s nothing
worth fighting over. Just scrape me up
as you would any thing past its use-by.
Less fuss the better;
I won’t be bitter.

Plant me or burn me. Whatever’s
cheap and quicker. Brief ceremony
if you insist. Less fuss the better.
Please pass the butter. Warm scones
just what a daughter ordered.
Someone up early this morning
but it wasn’t me, thank nature.

A brief message on so-so media,
the local paper: Allan Lake, com-
poser of poems, totally died at half
past rhyme, flat on his assonance,
out of time in challenging times.
World seems about frenetic same.
“Autumn Leaves” by Chet Baker
if you feel you must or theme music
from “Cinema Paradiso.” Less fuss
the better, so flush the banter
in, say, six minutes of weeping.

No gravestone, no precious little urn
but if some body decides to rename a lake
(there’s an idea) or park, I cannot stop them.
The dead are rarely consulted and
then usually by lunatics or scammers.
Just don’t compromise a humble life
with anything too grand like a statue
of ‘the poet’ reading. If forced to choose,
I’d prefer an abstract sculpture with plaque
displaying just one of my brief poems
that one respected critic wrote,
‘brings the creator to account.’
I say, less fuss the better.


Originally from Saskatchewan, Allan Lake has lived in Vancouver, Cape Breton Island, Ibiza, Tasmania, Perth and, for now, Melbourne. He has two collections published: Tasmanian Tiger Breaks Silence (1988) and Sand in the Sole (2014). Lake won the Elwood (Aus) Poetry Prize in 2016, Lost Tower Publications (UK) Poetry Competition in 2017, and the Melbourne Spoken Word Poetry Festival / The Dan Competition in 2018. Besides Australia, he has been published in Canada, the UK, the USA, Mauritius, India, the West Indies, and Italy.

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