Category Archives: Held the Globe (for Gramps)

poems inspired by my dear dead ole Gramps or written the wake of his passing

I’ve Held the Globe (for Gramps)

I’ve held the globe
thread for vapour trails
of journies
each colour 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
Tinian, Hawaii, Japan, Guam
a green line returns to Perth

Pins cover provinces and states
organized pushed with vigor and precision
Prague before velvet divorce
Cuba pre-Castro

Misnamed Indies several times
around Belize, Venezuela, Colombia, Paraguay
Paraguay why?
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 apparatus
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

I’ve Held the Globe – Poetry Cycle for Ole Gramps

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 love(d) roadtrips, foreign travel, good conversations, quirky motels, other people’s stories, and wearing glasses.

Accompanying the free verse are a variety of photos of him and me and other bits which remind me of this remarkable man who checked off 67 countries and 80 something years.

Download and print your own if so inclined. Enjoy.

Sunken Awake

Ashen sunken
eyes awake slowly
from morphine haze
“it relieves the anxiety to breath”

from time to time
he screams “i can’t breathe”
and i say “you’re breathing now”

he remembers his father, “a financial genius” he says
he is the kindly man with the pipe in the painting
“it hangs above my bed”
each word slow
he was always good to me and he is calling me home

come wuickly he said
i won’t last long
don’t leave yet
you’ll have to wait

he said,
i am just too tired
i am just too tired
i am ready to go
i am scared

head drops
struggles to move
i am ready to go