Published on Apr 25, 2014
A cycle of freeverse poems written for/about my Grandpa Robert L Stevenson during his final days, and in the wake of his death as i reflected about our adventures together.
Of all my relations, i am perhaps the most like him in many ways: we loved roadtrips, foreign travel, good conversations and stories, and wearing glasses.
Company in the free verse are a variety of photos of him and me and other bids which remind me of this remarkable man who clicked off 67 countries and 80 something years.
Download and print your own if so inclined. Enjoy.
He pondered the question
for over a day
he could have died without answering
finally, calling me close, hoarsely
“make a hundred million then cut and run”
I’ve held the globe
thread for vapor trails
each color a route
pinned from Greece to Kenya
or St John’s Bay
is that Israel or Syria?
A blue loop with stops at
20 pins circumnavigates
a memory of connections
meals with colleagues
strangers and stewardesses
Red thread of elongated triangles
crosses over itself
making obtuse angles o’er Pacific
Tinain, Hawaii, Japan, Guam
a green line returns to Perth
Pins cover provinces and states
organized pushed with vigor and precision
Prague before velvet divorce
Misnamed Indies several times
around Belize, Venezuala, Colombia, Paraguay
Was it a holiday steamer
or a recruiting mission?
Heavy machinery to militants, airplanes to diplomats or typewriters to rogues
a letter carried from a mexican ambassador from a round of golf decades before –
carried not as a prize but a pocket card, not an ace but a jack at least,
“This is to introduce my friend, please provide any due consideration.”
Outside the machines dig holes for bricks
disguising the drip and hum of appratus
chest heaves so shallow,
mouth gapes, head askew,
hands, arms, fingers flush with fluid
ruddy, worn and odd
a man who worked with head and heart,
but little by his hands