Bill Parkinson’s poem ‘Compost Heap’

This is another poem written by Bill and read at his woodland burial in May.


Compost Heap 

The face of the earth is a graveyard

To which we restore,

Making good our pledge of life,

Resurrecting form and substance borrowed.


Everything that dies is

Wholly renewing and required.

Decay sustains and fully subscribes.


A debt fulfilled,

Life mortgaged to life,

Where plant, animal and man

Loan the joint stock of themselves

And share the material issue.


This teeming pit

Where the shining worm brandles

And turns with its purpose

Is hot with good news.

Death breaks not, but redeems

The Bond,

Which is life’s profit.


Composted soil from the bin

Astounds with seething life.

One spoonful out peoples the earth.

It’s a community sauna rotdown do

Where the springtail

Leaps from the micro-scorpion’s claws

To feast on woodlice poo.


Symbiotic creation

Mazes micro-organic cultures

Where fungi commune with bacteria,

Sweltering, bacchic at the feast of decay,

And insects and worms

Move enriching rituals

To exude life substance

Out of death,

Binding the pact conglomerate.


The Pope

Kneels and kisses the earth,

Wise beyond his immediate purpose.


Copyright Bill Parkinson revised 2010 for Papal visit



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