Please excuse this brief interruption from normal Europe trip programming for a poem. Some unfortunate events have occurred recently in my life, and by "unfortunate events", I mean a couple of people have passed away, one in extremely awful circumstances. This makes four people that have died this year, whom I cared for, or whose family I care for, or know well. Death is never pleasant, but four in five months is starting to be a bit wearing. So in the name and honor of those who have fallen, I post this poem, a favorite of mine:


Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight,my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

-W.H. Auden

R.I.P. Kristin Stock, Nick Cooley, Troy Lancaster and Mr. Sammy