Friday, July 15, 2016

The Living Dead

~ Honouring our poetic ancestors ~

By Vivienne Blake

I will go down fighting
for that which I hold most dear:
for home and family and friends,
but when it’s time for me to go
I hope it’s without fear.
I want to lie in idleness
beneath my favourite tree.
Let my biodegradable body be compost,
ensure nature’s continuity
by adding to fertility:
enrich the soil with me.

I think you will know by now that we lost Viv on July 5th – a wonderful friend in the online poetry community, whom most of us never met in person but still treasured. Her daughter has posted this poem at her blog along with the announcement of her passing, and kindly gave me permission to feature it. It is Viv's own epitaph for herself, which she wrote in May 2014.

I'm sure we all echo her hopes for herself, in this poem which expresses her indomitable spirit.

I don't think I need to go into a lot of detail about Viv's life and interests, as she was so well-known to people here. But if you would like to refresh your knowledge, I refer you to the 'About Viv' page of her blog – and indeed, to the whole blog, which as well as her poetry contains fiction, memoir, and galleries of her quilting. She was multi-talented!

Now she becomes not only a greatly missed friend, but also one of the poets on whose shoulders we so gratefully stand.

Material shared in 'The Living Dead' is presented for study and review. Poems, photos and other writings remain the property of the copyright owners, where applicable (older poems may be out of copyright).


  1. What a fitting epitaph she wrote for herself. Thank you for this feature, Rosemary.

  2. I had not heard of Viv's passing. My condolences to her family and friends. What a loss to all of us - her voice was a strong one, and her support for writers, unflinching.

  3. I am so glad you featured Viv here, Rosemary, as we come to terms with another beautiful poetic voice silenced. Given the suddenness of her passing, I trust there was little time for fear. I love that she wrote of nourishing the soil with her remains. Such a beautiful soul. Thankfully, her poetry lives on.

  4. I love her feels like it could belong to anyone who has the same hopes....I am sad that such a beautiful voice is silent now, but her work will continue to speak to many in years to come.

  5. Thanks for sharing Viv's words. :)

  6. This is indeed beautiful, thanks for sharing with us

    Much love...

  7. Her epitaph pricks our heart and we feel sorry for her. Condolences to the family.RIP her soul.

  8. Viv's words always shine. Thanks for this feature Rosemary.

  9. Thank you for posting this. She always made me smile. I felt a hollowness inside at her passing, and this poem reminds me that she has bequeathed her spirit to all of us.

  10. Thank you so much for posting the poem she is for each of us to accept her passing and our's. I am so sorry she will be missed. What a woman!

  11. I didn't know her but am so sorry to hear this news of a fellow poetess passing.

  12. Her poetry will live on to expose her spirit. Thank you for commemorating her here.

  13. Thank you Rosemary. Viv will be greatly missed.

  14. It is nice that she is being remembered like poets who appreciated her writing. Didn't know her, but saddened to hear of her passing.

  15. She will be missed for the appreciation of comments on her work and for being so generous when reading mine.

  16. It's very hard to add to Viv's strength of character.. I am sure she enriched the world in many ways and will continue to do so

  17. My condolences to her family and friends. She will be greatly missed.

  18. it's always sad that a community loses a member, and a fine poet too.

  19. She was a dear friend. Her epitaph suits her beautifully. She will be missed by so many.


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