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Dad's Poem of Love & Hate

Dad's Poem of Love & Hate

When a loved one dies, we extoll their virtues. But we rarely explore the world from their point of view and imagine what it was like to be them.

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,

Perlwen, well-aged,


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,

Greek myths

Honesty, Ethics

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…


household arguments,

snooty behaviours,

raspberries impaled on small children’s fingers


Anti-immigration, deportation


things beginning with B:




His bargain with Rwanda

the rise of his “Fascist sea”.

You see…?

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

globally-warmed society,

he is out there, I believe

living that longed-for life.

But the Robin returns each eve

up estuary

past the Dog House

and Lawrenny

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

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