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poem tree ash

Scattering poem for scattering in woods and trees

A very kind lady wrote the following for my father in 2008 and has been asked on occasion if others can use it.

She says ” I am happy for anyone to use it if it fits the occasion. If you would like to put it on your website I hope it brings nothing but solace to a family as it did to ours.”

At the End –


We stand as testament to your will

That governs us post mortem still

You wanted that we bring you here

In words unambivalent and clear

To spend your afterlife at ease

Scattered near your favourite trees

At your final resting place

Soon there will be not a trace

Of your ashes on the ground

But your presence will be found

In every scrap of DNA –

Lots of which is here today.

As in your life, your will will out.

That we obeyed you there’s no doubt

You would like we make no fuss

Of how you’ll linger long with us

We loved you more than words can show

But now’s the time – to let you go

By Jennifer Levenson 2008

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ashes burial at sea classic poems

A sailor’s farewell poem: Crossing the Bar

If you are looking for words or verse for ash scattering ceremony fit for an old sailor, then you could worse than consider the classic poem Crossing the Bar by Alfred Lord Tennyson

Crossing the Bar


Sunset and evening star,
      And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
      When I put out to sea,
   But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
      Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
      Turns again home.
   Twilight and evening bell,
      And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
      When I embark;
   For tho’ from out our bourne of Time and Place
      The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
      When I have crost the bar.
To a arrange a committal service by the Royal Navy – Royal Navy Committal
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royal navy ashes service

A Bible reading suitable for an old sailor

We have recently been in touch with the naval chaplaincy at Portsmouth and they have been extremely helpful. We explained that many people may wish to be to have their ashes scattered in the same place as their loved one and still have reference to their career with either Royal or Merchant Navy.

We asked what reading from they used during the committal, they said:

The reading we use is Ps 107 which reminds us that despite the storms of life we make it into a safe haven at the end of our life.

A reading from Psalm 107

Those who go down to the sea in ships and ply their trade in great waters, these have seen the works of the Lord and his wonders in the deep. For at his word the stormy wind arose and lifted up the waves of the sea. They were carried up to the heavens and down again to the deep; their soul melted away in their peril. They reeled and staggered like a drunkard and were at their wits’ end. Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He made the storm be still and the waves of the sea were calmed. Then were they glad because they were at rest, and he brought them to the haven they desired.

Which, as one might imagine, seems rather appropriate.

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scattering a cricketers ashes

At Lord’s: A Cricketer’s farewell

Was your loved one a fan of the thwack of leather on willow? If so then this may be perfect…

It is little I repair to the matches of the Southron folk,
Though my own red roses there may blow;
It is little I repair to the matches of the Southron folk,
Though the red roses crest the caps, I know.
For the field is full of shades as I near the shadowy coast,
And a ghostly batsman plays to the bowling of a ghost,
And I look through my tears on a soundless-clapping host
As the run-stealers flicker to and fro,
To and fro: –
O my Hornby and my Barlow long ago!

Francis Thompson
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ashes poem japan

Scattering Ashes in Haiku!

Two November girls

scatter his ashes at sea;

sad wild waves thunder.


Well there you go, I have no idea whether this is good or bad Haiku but judging by the response it was well received.

For those not familiar with the term Haiku is a Japanese form of poetry, Japanese haiku have been traditionally composed in 5-7-5 syllables, so 17 in total. When poets started writing English haiku in the 1950’s, they adopted this 5-7-5 form, now this considered to be “traditional” English haiku.

I read it and I get the picture – so I guess job done, umm does that make me seem like a complete philistine? No comments on that please…


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ashes scattering poems

Miss me but let me go – poem for scattering and burying ashes

Finding the right words when scattering or bury ashes is difficult so we keep on constant watch for people who express are the emotions for words we cannot articulate ourselves, this poem has been searched for by visitors and recommended by other, after reading I understood why…

When I come to the end of the road

And the sun has set for me,

I want no tears in a gloom-filled room,

Why cry for a soul set free?

Miss me a little – But not for long

And not with your head bowed low,

Remember the love that we once shared,

Miss me – But let me go.

For this is a journey we all must take,

And each must go alone,

It’s all a part of the Master’s plan

A step on the road to home.

When you are lonely and sick of heart

Go to your friends that we know,

And bury your sorrows in doing good works,

Miss me – But let me go.

Henry Scott Holland
Canon of St Paul’s Cathedral


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Perfect poem for scattering ashes at sea – Sea Fever by John Masefield


This is a superb poem for scattering cremation ashes at sea…

I came across this poem when writing a recent blog post about the explorer Frank Wild and I was stunned by just how beautiful it was. If you are wondering about the words to say when scattering the ashes of an old sailor or seaman, or anyone really who loved the sea – you could do a lot worse than this..

    Sea Fever by John Masefield

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a gray mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way, where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.


Brilliant , just brilliant. For our other poems go to our poems page


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