A ceremony of ashes

Charles Cowling


Posted by Vale

We could do with thinking more about what the scattering of ashes. A while ago Evelyn published a wonderful post on the blog (find it here) about scattering Muriel’s ashes in an ‘open, high place’,  and I came across this  poem recently by Edward Storey. It’s a record of a committal, a wonderful tribute and an exploration of what these scatterings can mean. O, and it’s a lovely poem too. Worth a read: 


A Ceremony of Ashes

(In memory of Drew)

The wind was blowing from north to south
To give your wings their eager lift
From man-made boundaries.

Clouds were the continents you crossed,
Hills the last buy cialis 5 mg uk frontier of a life
To reconcile histories.

What joy, what freed exuberance
Suddenly leapt from Offa’s
Creating stars from mortal ash.

You rode like a king on the ancient dyke
To be one with a day that soon unveiled
The landfall of your choice.

You became earth and fire and rain,
Tree-root and leaf, sun-shaft and frost,
Where miles can never pin you down.

Who ever walks this hallowed track
Will, without knowing, always have
Your wise and jovial company.

I came across it in a collection of poems called ‘Almost a Chime Child. It is out of print, but I did find a copy for sale here.

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ValeEvelynValeCharles CowlingRich Martin Recent comment authors

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Vale – this is so lovely – perfect phrases especially ‘the landfall of your choice’ thank you.


I thought there was so much in this poem that, as celebrants, we could draw on. Thank you Evelyn.


Very glad you liked the poem Richard. If you are interested there is a companion poem in the same collection – almost like a variation on this one. If you are interested I’ll email it to you.

Rich Martin

Oh I might borrow that if I may (am I allowed to that). I thought the reference to Offa’s dyke was great. That area of the country is so undervalued. Well found that man…