Ashes to Ashes

we are skin, bone, sinew, sheath protecting
rushing blood, heart that beats, muscle,
what would happen if skin peels back
what would others see

our imperfections inscribed on concrete paths
our loves and hates broadcast, wants, dreams
to strangers whose footsteps tred
unknowingly across our backs

we travel sometimes alone, learning life through
others and ourselves, our journey evolving
inwardly not sharing when our cross is hard
to bare and would strangers care

we walk and talk, the humans that we are
with foibles and finery, genetics make
our personality, we love, we hate, laugh, cry
complex creatures, the miracle of simply being

our hearts need to beat, our blood to flow
if broken and skin peeled back, we may reveal
bruises of the life we’ve led, that swelled
caused pain, that never surfaced

so take us for what we are, who we are
this short time on this earth, the marvels
of the human kind, for when all is said and done
we are bone, skin, sinew and blood

copyright JMTacken 9.4.2014

The below may be a little confronting. Apologies.

Today a small group of Funeral Celebrants had a tour of one of our local cemeteries set on 440 acres of land and 80,000 trees with beautifully manicured and maintained gardens.
We visited the sites of the Greek, Hindu, Chinese, Jewish, Italian graves and many more. We saw the baby to 3 year old site, which was full of colour and even a small playground and the children’s site. The site of our Victorian Police force who were killed in the line of duty.

Then we visited the building were the cremations took place. Down a steep driveway to a brick building, we entered quietly, reverently.

There was a gentleman with one of the furnaces open raking out the remains of ‘someone’ we stood, the three of us, silent. We saw a large femur bone, amongst the red ashes of the ‘kiln’.

He then asked if we wanted to witness the next one who was coming in. He wheeled in a coffin, adorned with yellow daisies, and opened the furnace door, sliding it carefully in. As soon as it was in place a massive flame came up and he closed the door. We all stood, watching, enthralled and curious about the event that took place in front of us.

The temperature exceeded 900deg. Those that have hip replacements or metal in their bodies were sifted through and a bottom furnace then burnt the remaining ashes. This may seem a morbid thing to write about, but as a funeral celebrant, knowing now how the process is, brought a sense of relief, in a way.

The process is handled with great care and respect. The bodies of loved ones are then placed into containers, all marked. They check the paperwork 5 times before each cremation.

We were told the higher the lacquer on the coffin, the faster it burns. That having cardboard coffins is environmentally unfriendly as they are held together with too much glue. They want the ashes to be in the purest state possible, so advise funeral directors and celebrants to deter families from placing photos, letters or other memorabilia in for their journey.

As we walked out the building, I started to get quite emotional and cry. I wrote the above last night, prior to this visit, not knowing what we were going to witness.

It brought home we are just ‘items’ in a way. Made up of many things, then when our time comes we are but ash, disintegrated parts of us, of what was us…dust to dust..hard to describe really…

To write or not to Write…Reposted..from my 1st blog.. interesting to see where it lead

Yes writers the stamp of approval that we have been acknowledged, someone who doesn’t know us from a bar of soap appreciates our work and likes what we have written. With manuscripts I have forwarded, my letterbox strolls (to find acceptance) have come to nought.

I was mowing the lawns this afternoon (l know you wont find that mind-boggling) & I wanted to write, I moved onto weeding, I still wanted to write. Started to replant a gardenia bush, still wanted to write. It ‘the writing obsession’ wouldn’t leave me alone. In fact it hasn’t for some weeks now. It’s a calling, something unknown with long arms & sinewy fingers that grab hold of me & lure me into the study to turn on my Mac & say, “Now write”. (Maybe not long arms and sinewy fingers, perhaps a bit of over-kill there, but then that’s the writer in me). I try to resist (as I really wanted to get the gardenia bush planted whilst we are in Autumn) but it was no use denying it any further. So I sat at my desk and stared at the blank document page and prayed for inspiration (not literally).

Perhaps I should write just about me, my thoughts (I can see you all cringing, please don’t it shouldn’t be that bad).  Would anyone be interested in reading my dribble or would they find it amusing? Thought provoking? Would they relate to what I have written and me?

Who knows, I can’t be the judge only the person who is reading this can be. I know when I have read a book & if the author’s style is down to earth and open, I relate to it, it  draws me in even further.

I simply like that style of writing. Writing does require talent, imagination and creativity. Can we say that because l am an ‘unknown’ (apart from to my friends and family of course) that people wouldn’t enjoy or want to read what l have written? This is the uncertainty.

It’s all getting a tad in depth now isn’t it? Maybe I should refrain from over analysing and just do what I came in here to do and write. Sometimes I shall do that, I have the intention of writing something light hearted & before I know it the million words that consume my head space want to say something deep and meaningful…let’s see where it ends…