The Dead – Billy Collins

Charles Cowling

The Dead

The dead are always looking down on us, they say,
while we are putting on our shoes or making a sandwich,
they are looking down through the glass-bottom boats of heaven
as they row themselves slowly through eternity.

They watch the tops of our heads moving below on earth,
and when we lie down in a field or on a couch,
drugged perhaps by the hum of a warm afternoon,
they think we are looking back at them,

which makes them lift their oars and fall silent
and wait, like parents, for us to close our eyes.

7 thoughts on “The Dead – Billy Collins

  1. Charles Cowling
    Comfort Blanket

    I’m with Rupert. I came across this poem last year and loved it. But haven’t found quite the right moment to use it. One day soon…


    Charles Cowling
  2. Charles Cowling
    charles

    Alas, I am very sorry to say.


    Charles Cowling
  3. Charles Cowling
    Nestov Ratz

    “while we are putting on our shoes or making a sandwich”

    That’s just beautiful. If I didn’t know better I would think it was a lost work by William McGonagal, the tragedian of Dundee.


    Charles Cowling
  4. Charles Cowling
    charles

    Most awfully good to see you again, Nurse Myra!


    Charles Cowling
  5. Charles Cowling
    nursemyra

    Wow – I hadn’t heard this before but I love it.

    And I’m delighted to finally be able to leave comments on your blog again!


    Charles Cowling
  6. Charles Cowling
    Rupert Callender

    I love this poem. Never had the nerve to use it in a ceremony.


    Charles Cowling
  7. Tweets that mention The Good Funeral Guide – The Dead – Billy Collins -- Topsy.com

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by thefuneralco, Charles Cowling. Charles Cowling said: Take a moment to watch and listen to this: http://bit.ly/gXjkAl […]


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