A Poem by Michael Swanson

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    North London Hospice
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Michael Swanson loved to read and write. In his last days on our in-patient unit in Finchley, he penned this wonderful poem, which his wife Julie framed and presented to our nurses.




Come close come close


Let us hold each other tight and let us not rage at the loosing of the light.


Let us instead prepare our souls for the new sun.


That is neither distant nor to near, here nor there, though it is somewhere.


Let us not fear, for it will not be long before we arrive, and there will be no right or wrong.


Just the song composed before we were born, and children will be waiting.


Singing and dancing on a gold and green lawn.


Oh what merriment they make dressed as pirates pretending to walk the plank.


What is that I hear you say?


What would Ovid see?


What would Milton see?


Would Eliot praise or crow?


I have to say I do not know.


So let us hold each other tight and let us not rage at the loosing of the light.


As for the rest I do not care, we should feel safe in the knowledge the children will be there.


With a jolly Rodger as their guide.


Do you think they will see us?


For we have no place to hide?


Again I do not care.


There they are all salty-faced and Cap’n Pugwashed rubber cutlassed with lemondade as rum.


With shouts of “ahoy there”.


Echoing under an unknown sun. Now there is no reason for our rage.


The light will be there forever, and forever and forever.



Michael Swanson 19 July 1952 – 28 April 2019

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