1 July 2010



Hands as warm as fresh-baked pies
Hands cool as fruit
Hands with fingers like sausages
Hands with slender digits
Smooth creamed hands
Hands gnarled by digging
Every hand a story
Hands with rings and painted nails
Arthritic hands
Hands as furry as a bear's paw
Hands that squeezed too much
Hands that clasped limply
A hand with a missing finger
Another missing two
Old hands with thin skin to cover the veins
Young summer hands moist with life
We shook them all
"Sorry for your loss"
One after the other
In the doorway of the parlour
Where, in the corner,
Lying in a wooden trough
Was a wax model of my brother
Badly done
His fiddling hands
Church candle coloured
And cold.


  1. YP, I'm so, so sorry to hear of your brother's passing. Late though it is, may "flights of angels sing him to his rest."
    Your poem is a lovely, poignant tribute. Well done. You and your family will be in my thoughts...

  2. I can feel your loss. And your pain.

  3. That poem is so moving.

  4. Elizabeth9:00 pm

    You and Paul were both taught well to use your hands in creativity.

    I can see in that first photograph that you posted of Paul, the way he is transported and moved by the music and his love for his instrument. I don't have to have either seen him or heard him to be aware of that - though I wish I had had that opportunity. It must have been so cruel for you to see those hands lying lifeless and cold. I'm not going to presume that I know how you felt, because I don't.

    But what I do know is that through using your hands and the gift of words to create such a beautiful, moving poem, you showed your vulnerability and expressed something very special of your lostness and your utter depth of grief for Paul. I won't be forgetting this haunting love poem to your brother for a very long time. xx


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