For Stephen Hawking

Two years, they told him, the medics

To put his ill-starred house in order

And await his date with formaldehyde

And a fine funeral cortege

On the tail wind of his cremation dust

But, starting

From the third rung of his ladder

The one pronounced rotten, his

One-way route to ‘cad’avenue,

He let drop a defiant song

Not to the medics. To gravestone sculptors

To epitaph poets

To   wreath price bargain hunters

Hagglers over memorial haiku

For he was seeing a gem between the seventh and eight stars


You’ve done your best but your time’s up

They’d insisted,

But he stayed on, and on and on

As he sealed an apprenticeship with the orbs


Plaguing their prognosis with

Fifty three years of extra life

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