Last Rite of Passage.


My task is to set the scene, provide ambient atmosphere,

imageAnd with my back to the rows of empty church pews,

I am a lonely, solitary figure, seated on the organ stool,

The stops on either side of me, my only companions.

Anticipating the arrival of the first mourners,

Fingers gliding Legato-style over heavy keys,

I perform appropriate and expected voluntaries…

Another Rite of Passage,

Another Season been and gone,

Another Funeral…

Ebony and ivory, successively depressed, trigger a chain reaction within

And bellows’ breath hauntingly escapes from the throats of silver pipes,

Long and short, deep and shrill,

Standing to attention like a battalion on military manoeuvres.

As I sense and feel close family approaching front lines,

Acutely aware of a wall of pain and disbelief advancing ahead,

My heart wells up with empathy and compassion,

Hands playing the gentlest of airs on the Swell.

Hymns are sung, prayers are prayed,

Life stories spoken, anecdotes recalled.

Stiff upper lips and lips of trembling tremolo,

All partakers in this Ritual of Departure,

Life’s last Coda.

Goodbyes and farewells,

Regrets and ‘if only-s’…

Alleluia and Requiem.

imageThe deep droning of the 16′ Bourdon echoing

The dull, grave ache that  has taken up residence

In every cell, every fibre of existence,

And like a ton weight threatens to annihilate

The grieving souls struggling to accept

The vast, empty chasm stretching out before them.

One last meaningful melody, Swell coupled to Great,

All pipes at the ready, all stops pulled out…

As the coffin is lifted up and carried out and on to it’s final resting place.




4 thoughts on “Last Rite of Passage.

    1. Once again, Peter, thank you so much for your encouraging words. They are greatly valued and mean a lot…that poem had been milling around in my head for a while and indeed it can be a very lonely existence up there on the organ and you are very acutely aware of emotions running riot at a funeral. Of course playing a wedding is a totally different affair…! Peace and Blessings to you and Gertrud.


    1. Thank you so much for giving me your time, it is so encouraging and I so value your feedback. I am glad that my words connected. I am so enjoying your wonderful photos and sensitive words, also. Take care.

      Liked by 1 person

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