When I Die

When I die,

Shave me.

Do not force

My wife

To kiss me, let her,

Only if she wants to.

Do not  direct my children

To hold me

Let them,

Only if they need to.

And do not put that cologne.

I never liked that smell.

Like the smiles of men

laughing loud  under cover.

Flowers are good.

I like the  waving beauty of white periwinkles

that do not smell.

And are quite on bodies like sparkling teeth.

And I only wish, that by the time I die

there’ll be a  puppy  in the crowd

to lick me

But do dogs do that to the dead ?

Puppies still  might.

I wonder.

But when I die,

all in smiles

beneath your tears

standing around,

Please shave me.

I would like to leave you all,

And go to God,

As in my best childhood photograph.

The Zong

Gopi Kottoor's picture

Gopikrishnan Kottoor has won numerous awards for his poetry, including leading prizes in the prestigious Poetry Society (India)- British Council All India Poetry competitions. His poems have been published both in National and international poetry journals, and in Special issues on contemporary Indian Poetry in English. His selected poems from nine books appear in the collection ' Victoria Terminus'. His impressions on the concentration camp, Buchenwald, Weimar (East Germany) are cited as prayer in the reflective book by Barbara Franklin, of the ' Adorers of Christ, USA'. Kottoor's eleventh book of poems ' Vrindavan', a Radha- Krishna poetry cycle with 214 poems has won rare encomiums both in India and abroad. Kottoor has read and worked as invited poet in Europe and the USA.His book of poems ' Father, Wake Us in Passing' translated into German, (Wolfgang Heyder) appeared as a Laufscrift book choice (Martin Langanke). His oeuvre includes Novels (A Bridge Over Karma, Presumed Guilty), Plays ( The Mask of Death, Fire In The Soul), Verse translations (Puntanam, Kukoka), Editing ( Poetry Chain, A New Book of Indian Poems in English) Writing for children, (Wander) Lyrics, Scripts, Stories, Life style ( The Twelve Petals of Enlightenment) and literary reviews ( The Hindu Literary Supplement, Deccan Herald). His forthcoming books are Hill House (Novel), A December Night's Train (Script and poems), A Woman In Flames (Play) . Blog : www.gopikottoor.blogspot.com. Email : gopikottoor@gmail.com. Reference in Wikipedia : Gopi Kottoor.

Last updated May 25, 2012