On Going by Owen Sheers

Charles Cowling

It’s been a slow news day here at the GFG luxury penthouse suite in Thanatology Towers. So here’s a very good poem by Owen Sheers. If you like it, buy the collection. It’s called Skirrid Hill and it’s published by seren.

On Going

i. m. Jean Sheers

There were instruments, as there always are,

To measure, record and monitor,

windows into the soul’s temperature.

But you were disconnected from these.

and lay instead an ancient http://www.health-canada-pharmacy.com child,

fragile on your side,

your breath working at the skin of your cheek

like a blustery wind at a blind.

There was only one measurement

I needed anyway, which you gave,

triggered by the connection of my kiss

against your paper temple

and registered in the flicker of your open eyes,

in their half-second of recorded understanding

before they disengaged and you slipped back

into the sleep of their slow-closing.

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3 years ago

good poem 10/10 x

Tom Hutton
Tom Hutton
4 years ago

The subject of the poem is an elderly person who is dying. the dissconnection from the machines is in my opinion not a literal disconnection. Perhaps the Poet is saying, these ‘instruments’ are not you, they do not define you and i won’t remember them as being part of you. the only ‘measurement’ he is interested in is the flicker of an eye, a human reaction. as short as it was, it was enough. they lay ‘as an ancient child’, shows the fragility of life along with the circle of life. we are at our most fragile as an infant… Read more »

8 years ago

Jean Sheers was Owen’s grandmother.

9 years ago

thanks for this Charles, I have been asked to read this at a ceremony, tricky reading!!

Amber thomas
Amber thomas
10 years ago

thankyou charles, this was very helpful 🙂

Sallie Mogford
Sallie Mogford
9 years ago

Jean Sheers is not Owen’s Mother. She was very much alive when I saw her recently at the premier of Resistance.

9 years ago
Reply to  Sallie Mogford

Oh, Sallie, I have put my foot in it. Thank you for this good news. May she enjoy many more years. Thank you very much for correcting a sloppy error. I must now find out who the subject of the poem is.

Amber Thomas
Amber Thomas
10 years ago

Can someone give me a brief explination please?

Amber Thomas
Amber Thomas
10 years ago

dont really understand the poem…

Claire Callender
11 years ago

made me cry