The tick of an old clock,
pops of almost-dry logs,
a favourite record,
the day’s last yelps of gulls on the roof,
lowered voices on the way back from the pub.
Wrap yourself in this collage of sound,
remember the combination forever.
Nothing stands still
but you can always
come back whenever you like.
When I go, don’t worry about what to do
with whatever’s left of me.
Buried or cremated, by that point
I’ll be past caring anyway.
Don’t waste money on anything flash
like shooting my ashes
from a cannon over the Suspension Bridge.
It’s up to you how you dispose of me,
whether you want something to visit
or I end up in an urn on the mantelpiece.
Just in case, I’ve left a bit of room
in the garden, next to the jasmine.
This vine is ravenous, sprints through trees,
scales walls and balconies like a smitten lover.
It consumes the city, hugs the damp clapboards
with needled tendrils. Yellow trumpets
caught your eye as you paraded past
in the second line, a century or ten minutes ago.
A storm blew, turned New Orleans to bayou
but Cat’s Claw knew a secret way in,
showed the people that life can endure.
Some may say it’s a curse
but they don’t hear the breeze in its leaves,
sighing in from Haiti and Havana;
sit back and listen to the tune it plays.
Ben Banyard lives in Portishead, on the Severn Estuary near Bristol. He’s the author of a pamphlet, Communing (Indigo Dreams, 2016) and a full collection, We Are All Lucky (Indigo Dreams, 2018). He blogs and posts mixtapes at https://benbanyard.wordpress.com/