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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 11: January 2022
Poem: 124 words
By Gary S. Rosin

The Lonely Funeral

In Amsterdam, The Lonely Funeral Project ensures that
no one is buried without a mourner, by commissioning
a poet to write, and read, a memorial poem.
No death should go unnoticed, 
so poets mark the passing, 
the deaths of all the persons 

lost from family and friends, 
no one left to remember, 
to gather at the graveside, 

only pallbearers, a clerk, 
a poet, and the coffin. 
A poet breaks the silence, 

tries to answer the absent, 
say the things that can be said, 
even if it is only 

this person lived among us, 
this person wandered our streets, 
but died alone, and unknown. 

The poet stands with head bowed, 
but poetry still echoes, 
then fades into stone silence. 

Rest in Peace. 


Publisher’s Note:

The Ger Fritz Prize is awarded for the best lonely funeral poem written each year. Fritz is a former employee of the Amsterdam Department of Funerals who has attended more than 500 lonely funerals over the years. To read more, see The Dutch City Poets Who Memorialize the Lonely Dead by Christine Ro in The Ploughshares Blog (24 December 2016).

Gary S. Rosin’s
Issue 11, January 2022

poetry and haiga have appeared, or are forthcoming, in various literary and poetry magazines such as Concho River Review, Eastern Structures, Failed Haiku, Harbinger Asylum, KYSO Flash, MacQueen’s Quinterly, Poetry24, The Legal Studies Forum, The Lift, The Wild Word, and Visions International; as well as in several anthologies, including contemporary haibun (Volume 17, Red Moon Press, 2022), Faery Footprints (Fae Corp Publishing), Lifting the Sky: Southwestern Haiku & Haiga (Dos Gatos Press), Texas Poetry Calendar (Kallisto Gaia Press), Untameable City: Poems on the Nature of Houston (Mutabilis Press), and elsewhere.

His poem “Viewing the Dead” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Two of his poems appear in Silent Waters, photographs by George Digalakis (Athens, 2017). He is the author of two chapbooks, Standing Inside the Web (Bear House Publishing, 1990) and Fire and Shadows (Legal Studies Forum, 2008) (offprint).

Selections of Gary’s poetry and photography can be found at his website, 4P Creations: http://4pcreations.com

More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond

Crossing Kansas by Gary S. Rosin in The Wild Word (7 February 2020); includes audio of the poet reading his poem

Two Readings: “Apparition” and “Black Dogs” by Gary S. Rosin for Texas Poetry Calendar 2015 at the Blue Willow Bookshop in Houston, Texas (20 September 2014)

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