By in Personal

I could have been someone

... Just like my Dad

This is a poem I wrote in 2004 two weeks before my dad died. He was a quiet man but had that Irish temper passed down to him from bad tempered Irish ancestors emoticon :smile: . What a man he was though, for those people on Persona Paper who live near me they will know how the men of Tyneside and the North East of England built the biggest ships in the world at one time and dug through cold damp mine shafts to earn a living, they led a simple life compared to us, their idea of entertainment was spending hours meeting up at the local working mens club and drinking, they were real men, hard men and proud.

The men who were my dads age and older were also called up into the army during the Second World War, they saw things that no man should ever witness, he very rarely spoke of his time in Germany in 1944/45 and who can blame him, not many men did. He was a joiner/carpenter by trade and whilst working in the shipyards on Tyneside many men were exposed to asbestos, in his job he had to cut the asbestos which went inside the ship, men used to kick it around like a football, the ship owners knew they had signed the death warrant of hundreds if not thousands of men .. great men!

The poem is about the sadness of the end of a great mans life

This is my own photo

The old man stood as the rain came down
He stared at the water in drain
Its ripple, its sound, around and around
A splash he'd like, but had to refrain

Old man you dream of memories passed
Of April days so long ago then
Open your eyes, see me now at last
Don't linger at the age of ten

Your legs they shake and carry no steps
What's needed is a youthful zest
There's no rewind and no reset
It's time to face life's final test

Don't you go now please wait and see
Life's final journey only you will know
Just one last time to far off lands
Beyond the horizon and behind a rainbow

It's time to go now please listen to me
You cannot guarantee more time to give
Can this bloody lovely life not set you free
For you who's tired yet fighting to live

I'll say farewell to a real man struck down
By the Yards who's evil rang the last bell
Requiem it sounds the last chorus begins
Goodnight to you my inspiration and friend

Image Credit » Geds photo's

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soupdragon wrote on January 10, 2015, 11:10 AM

I can remember us having some flaking asbestos in a garage when we were kids and we'd play in that garage all the time. Awful to think how people were exposed to such risks at work. A moving poem

BodieMor wrote on January 10, 2015, 11:47 AM

A touching ode to your dad... And asbestos is still a killer. Often there are announcements on TV regarding class action suits because of asbestos.

NorthernLight wrote on January 10, 2015, 12:22 PM

You paint a nice picture with your words, Ged.

rjsezack wrote on January 10, 2015, 1:26 PM

A wonderful Tribute to your Dad. You must have loved him very much.

ison1 wrote on January 10, 2015, 2:49 PM

That is a beautifully poignant poem. And you are right about that generation

BarbRad wrote on January 11, 2015, 8:54 PM

I can almost picture your dad the way you describe him so well. Your poem is a moving tribute to him.

Glenn wrote on March 4, 2015, 5:57 PM

What a wonderful way to remember your Dad. Great poem and the into was a good lead in so I understood the meaning in the poem better. I remember in the 60's when I was in High School, the stage in the auditorium had an asbestos curtain. I guess as long as they didn't pull it up and down too often, it was not so bad. But it's terrible that your Dad was exposed to it in an extreme way with the carpentry work in the shipyards. Sorry for your loss.