This poem was written for my dad when he died of a brain tumour almost 5 years ago, and the girls at omgeoinmacken.com have been, what I can only describe as incredibly sweet and insightful by raising money for my birthday for a brain cancer foundation charity.
The poem has an odd cadence, in that the lines should run into each other, and this song doesn't exactly fit the rhythm, but it's a beautiful song by some very talented musicians. I find that grief comes in different waves, and people deal with it differently, but sometimes hearing a song or reading about somebody else's experiences can help. I recently read a story, in GQ of all things, which won their non fiction award, about a woman who's husband died in Iraq and it was very moving and made me think of my own father. But the beauty of her story was that he wrote her a letter before he died, in the event that he might, and in it he told her to go and achieve and attempt all the things she should and to not wallow in sadness but to embrace life and to cherish their memories, and that's a very important message.
Here is the poem, written for my father when he died:
His slender hands pluck the dirt with measured strength
tossing bedraggled fragments to scatter in the wind around
Streaming fore and aft his face respectful, ready to relent
its eager course that harries wide-reaching under natures bounds.
Courteously acknowledging every healthily earned crevice and crease
with barely disguised admiration eclipsed in gentle sound
aware the same that bore him oceans across, seeking release
to threaten and consume with playful violence yet halted down
to its knees, at bay, with a tactful dexterity subdued
by his knowledge of its inner secrets carefully wrought
into an aura of calmness, a confidence daily renewed
by his own self belief, a trait that cannot be taught.
Peppered by a roaring anger, with strength in itself to blow
him across the Irish Sea with its power, but carefully caught
softened and moulded by the only cherished voice that knows
how to keep, soothe, temper and tame him, that only sought
to harness his talent of abundance and shape and caress
into a creative intelligence, of passionate defence
the map that guided him to unlimited heights of success
financial and emotional, but never at anothers expense
His lucky charm, his rock, his shelter, his soul,
the woman that kept him, for she made him whole.
'Red Sky in the Night' was his ever favourite phrase
and his eyes would sparkle in delight, life always amazed
Laughter burrows his skin in humour, at his own behest
met with a ferociously witty yet carefully measured riposte
A game to play along with, to challenge but never to best
as there was never a sole winner and nobody lost(e)
for that was the beauty, this awe in his presence
at a vast riveria of information spanning ages of time
a sea of words printed and spoken, always with reverence
drama, newsworthy, novel, fable, linguistic and rhyme
moulded and fleshed by intellectual pursuit of perfection
encouraged by diligent competition and masterful memory of lines
the courtroom his playhouse, the case his canvas, subsection
stroking in patterns victorious, yet never absent nor behind
a humanist, present, unselfish and always humble
observant and confident but cased in a tight circle of friends
loyal and caring, would never let go if you stumbled
charismatically woven from pillars of steel that would bend
around a penetrable soul for protection, to ease any heartache
with voice trembling like thunder in a maelstorm to mend,
assist and just be there, his self beyond any re-make
for he was a true shepard, and he was there to us, always to tend.
And this is the song by the Evora, on youtube, which I think helps with the tone of the poem. Or if not, is just a beautiful song in any case....
Much love to you all and to those who have lost and are hurt I hope that you have beautiful memories always......