The poet doesn’t invent, he listens.

My reflections and inter-subjective responses in working with my client Bob on writing and publishing his life story:

In this day and age of ‘not enoughness”, where so much of our world is about being more, having more, it is both a relief and a breath of fresh air to meet someone who is truly content with what they have. What a pleasure it was to spend time with someone who isn’t always looking for the grass that is greener.

Even as a younger man, Bob had the sense to recognize true teaching and wisdom when he heard it, taking it on board. Plucking a feather from each passing goose, young Bob looked up to his many teachers, those figures who ignited his passion for engines.

With an enduring passion for machinery, rowing and bowls, it was the camaraderie, friendship and teamwork in physical activity, common purpose and sport that characterised Bob’s life. His stay is an homage to the people that influenced his life.

Bob saw and appreciated the quirks and idiosyncrasies in the people he met along the way. His pride in having known the people in his life is real and clear.

Respecting generosity, mindfulness, cooperation, open mindedness with a side serve of caution, he lived according to his basic principles with honour, decency and good humour.

A ‘nuts and bolts man’, his life took a few unexpected turns with his three year ‘Walkabout” and the decline of his wife Kathleen, the rock of the family.

Bob was a man who knew how to be content. At all times humble, he saw his life as ordinary, but it is truly no less than extraordinary. This is Bob’s story.

An Ordinary Bloke Having A Go.

River

The River

Still waters run deep
The surface so often holding the unspoken
Yet hands
Say so much in gesture
Point to richness in depth
Holding oars
In teams moving as one
Grasping what is in front
Here now
This step
This stroke
Not the next
Pairs, fours or eights
Turn to liquid in motion
Of river’s holding
Coasting and sliding
Every contraction
And expansion
Breathing forward momentum
Egos dissolve
As men listen
To rhythms of another
Of all

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Rowing Engines

My seat
Setting time
For my team
Stroke
Legs extend and contract
Like pistons
Intakes of breath
Compress
Driving power
To exhaust
2 or 4 stroke
Cycles
Engine us forward
To race

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Innocence of Youth

Crossing childhoods’
Little bridges
A time of The Depression
Of early play
First homes, parents, friends
In country
And timely lessons

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Passion for Engines

Sparks ignite
Fuel for soul’s movement
Appreciation of what sits in front
The curiousity to understand
Parts fitting together
To run smoothly
Or run broken
To bring that which is still
Alive in movement
To repair (the broken)
To restore
Back to former glory
With ingenouity and inventiveness
Resource-full
Tools of the trade
Team with hands
Grasping, twisting
Timing belts, heart beats
Intakes of oxygen mix
Injections of fuel feed
Life’s breath into machines
Driving characters
From home to farm
Safely

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Camaraderie & Mateship

Competitive spirit
Brings mates together
Teamwork
And a laugh
Shared joy in action
In company
Together problems solved
Finding new ways
Directions on the road
Ways to move boats

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Making much from little

What is in front of me
Is what matters
Accept or mend
Grateful for what is
And use the available
Dances with tins and wooden boxes
To make do
With what you have
Repair, restore
To former glory
Bringing life
A new shine
To the old
Content to stay
Not tempted by allures
Of pastures greener
When all is needed
Is here
In its original condition

Rock

The rock of the family

The rock
Sits steadfast
Quiet and strong
Setting foundations
Support to build on
Encouragement
Enabled and allowed
Freedom
To pursue work’s passions

The rock that was always there
Setting foundations of freedom home
Suffers in fragmented memory
As fissures crack open
Space
For me to be
The quiet presence
You were for me
For so long

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Walkabout

Understanding bravery
Getting in touch with spiritual guides
Moving over unmapped lands
Guided by a spiritual power
Survival test to manhood
Proving to elders
Of capacity to survive harsh environment
Of his native land
Time for self-evaluation
Of reflection
Journey across land
Mind and spirit

My Walkabout

Having the balls
To back yourself
Moving in unfamiliar directions
Away from the known bolt and nut
The familiar bench
Mark
Of bravery
To step to a place
Of insurance
With very little assurance
Except faith in self

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Heading Up

Sharing what was learnt
A part of something bigger
Natural progression
Responsibility for those around
Doing more than you have to
All you can
As best you can

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Principles

To live by
Beliefs
Collection of goose feathers
To suit the truth of my flight path
Not just one to follow
Upright intentions
Trust and brotherly love
Helping those in trouble
Appreciating kindness and fairness in people
Never forgetting a good turn
Honourable and decent
Respecting generosity, mindfulness and cooperation

The good sense
Of a young man
To recognize true teaching
And wisdom
An older man
With a collection of goose feathers
To suit the truth of his flight path

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