Listen here to a poem of
Dad’s loves and hates.
Hear in the footsteps of his beloved
Belloc, Tennyson and Yeats
Dad loved wine and cheese.
Stilton with Port,
so ripe it crawls,
wrapped in leaves.
Dad loved reading.
Alan Garner, AJP Taylor, Anything!
(Except the Telegraph which he refused to have in the house.)
Dad was fascinated by geopolitics
and things the rest of us can’t pronounce.
Multiculturalism, Diversity, Pluralism, History
World War Two particularly,
Generous distribution of taxes and benefits.
He loved green and golden natural places,
fjords, Barbadan and Danish beaches,
Northumbrian and Pembrokeshire reaches.
He liked whistling, opera,
well crafted speeches,
the kind of Wagner that put him through his paces.
But, despite all this delight (and a mild demeanour)
Dad had some things he rather disliked,
in no particular order…
raspberries impaled on small children’s fingers
things beginning with B:
His bargain with Rwanda
the rise of his “Fascist sea”.
Dad loved the sea
His heart was steeped in it.
Clinker, block, sheet,
sailing by the lee.
He had a Redwing once
which he sailed with his dearest brother Johnny.
He loved metal stays knocking on masts,
the smell of seaweed and diesel
The sensation of salty storm blasts.
For the sea made him feel like the adventurer
he always dreamed to be.
He once said to me, “that’s all I ever wanted.”
So, like a Winter Robin flying out to sea,
Fleeing his sorrow for our
he is out there, I believe
living that longed-for life.
But the Robin returns each eve
past the Dog House
to his beloved Cresswell Quay.
He brings the sunset,
the evening star
And one clear call for thee:
All The Best Things Are Wild and Free