For Richard (2011)
Would you fill up the heavens with starry eyed questions?
Would you shout at the darkness and tell it to go?
Would you hang on to hope when there's not much to speak of?
Would you summon His strength when your courage was low?
Would you share difficult words with your brothers?
Would you share of the pain in your broken heart too?
Would you be unafraid to be called "fool for Jesus",
and demand with your life, "brother, whose fool are you?"
For there is a time when all questions are answered,
where hope is more real than the loudest of prayer,
where darkness dissolves in that triumphant moment,
where each man that lived for Him lives with Him there.
What will our response be in this sacred moment,
Rejoice new beginnings or weep at this end?
Let us stumbling, fumbling, cling on to Jesus,
As we say farewell to our vibrant young friend.
The Oak Trees.
The oak leaves drift slowly throughout the sweet glade,
headlong they swirl in a whimsical breeze,
This is the place where she chose to buried,
In a grave in that glade, beneath the oak trees.
In the spring of her life an accursed thing happened,
As if borne on the wind like the ancient oak leaves,
The doctors looked sadly and shook their heads, saying:
'I'm sorry, You must have your mothers disease'.
And so through her childhood, she hid her light wholly,
classmates had pried, yet no secret would spill,
A burden of silence she kept from the moment,
the kindly, stark doctors had said she was ill.
But the summer of life proved a difficult season,
she could not hide her beauty or secret so long
A gentle man came to evade her defences,
She melted to weakness when asked what was wrong.
At a park on a platform, those two souls were married,
Encircled by daisies and onlookers prayers,
her man spoke at last of the hole in his heart,
that her lightness had filled it, completed it there.
But autumn came quickly, and brought a great chill,
No longer a secret, the twitch made her ill,
The twitch turned to shakings, she pushed him away,
Alone and morose in the darkness she lay.
Her mother was there and she stood by the plot,
her father was there as the coffin descended,
The warmth of their hearts; only 50 years old,
Near a bottle of pills there her short life was ended.
And the couples stood by with their warm winter coats,
reflecting their lives in the midst of the trees,
As autumn descends in the still, solemn glade
In a grave she had chosen beneath the oak trees.
One Last Boatride (2011)
Let’s push the boat out on the water once more-
We’ll tell stories of Charlie again,
For sure, I’m not much of a fisherman
so call me ‘Your fisherman’s friend’
The boat churned the waves as we sat back,
made its way to our favourite spot,
to everyone’s glee, we all caught fish, but me,
but it hardly upset me a lot.
So instead we sat back with our rods down,
and thought about times that we’d had,
and although Charlie wasn’t an angel,
the good always outweighed the bad.
See Charlie would earnestly listen to you,
And take every word with his wit,
But if you were cocky, or leading him on,
He’d respond with an honest
I remember his face in the middle of work,
With sawdust right up to his ears,
Or covered in grease, getting brakes to release,
Fixing chainsaws, or cutters or gears.
When you saw how he worked in the daytime,
I’d call it the scruffiest sight
Yet shaven, and shirt fit for Rock and Roll Dancing
You’d admit that he ‘scrubs up alright’.
See the truth is, the smell of the engines,
The nicks and the scrapes from the saw,
The strong, quiet farmhand could turn gentleman,
The moment he hit the dance floor.
I also remember his business sense,
I remember quite often he’d say,
‘When you’ve put your best deal on the table,
have the courage to just walk away’.
I enjoyed how much Charlie was up for a laugh
his punchlines were quick and were keen,
I’d often be laughing at poems he’d said,
even the ones that weren’t clean!
Charlie had John Wayne collections,
I believe he was like him a touch,
his life was observed in that great John Wayne quote
‘Talk low, talk slow, and don’t say too much’
So et’s push the boat back in the water again,
and cook up the fish by the shore,
we’ll see Charlie again, with the Fisher of Men,
when our own fishing days are no more.