On the Impending Death of Iain Banks

No, I’ve got nothing. Only rage and grief
That death exists at all and isn’t fair
(Though fair would not be better) and I care,
And how I hate all this, with no relief.

We all go to the dark, and as for me
I deal OK with that: I won’t be there.
My bones the earth, my coffin full of hair,
And all my words gone silent: fine. I see.

But when it comes to other deaths than mine:
Just no. No resignation. Tears and rage.
And don’t tell me “surcease” and “laid down age”
When Keats was twenty-five, Banks fifty-nine.

Go hug your friends, and sing, or paint, or write,
Now while we may, against impatient night.

4th April 2013