He was a good man,
and a better friend.
He came over to mow the lawn
and stayed for a beer.
“This is gonna sizzle!”

Some called him uneducated,
no BA, no MA, no LLB,
but he had a golden heart
and a PhD in the school
of life and hard knocks.

I met men like him in Wales,
coal miners in bars,
steel workers on rugby teams,
sheep farmers from the hills
in the big city for the game.

Humble, they were, honest,
hard men, hard working,
intolerant of pretension and fools.
When I went to university,
nineteen and full of ideals,
they pulled me on one side.

“You’re one of us,” they said.
“However high you rise,
don’t lose the common touch.”

I met men like him in Spain,
foot-soldiers from the Civil War,
riflemen, dynamite throwers
with their skills learned
at coal face and quarry.

Machado wrote poems about them:
“Donde hay vino, beben vino;
donde no hay vino,
beben agua de las fuentes.”

Where there is wine,
they drink wine.
Where there is no wine,
they drink water from the fountains.

A good man, an honest man,
an uneducated man, some say,
who taught me more about life
and how to live it
than any university professor.

Comment: I read the obituary of one of my best friends in the newspaper today. He moved away from the neighborhood and we lost touch. But I never forgot him. As I have never forgotten those who shaped me in Wales and Spain. I have forgotten many of their names. But I have never forgotten their faces, nor their words of wisdom. At first, his passing brought a shadow to my life. Then I realized that no, he would not have wanted that. I think now of the good times, the laughter, the joy and, instead of mourning for him, I rejoice in all the goodness he gave me. Rest in peace, my friend. I will forget-you-not.

4 thoughts on “R.I.P.

  1. People may pass on but we cling to the memories they evoke. Isn’t that what our lives have become – a bank for our memories, of the roads we traveled, the people we met and the marks they made in our lives. This is lovely, Roger.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank, Allan. Your lines to me are a poem too. I often wonder what happens when we go: how many people go with us? I go back wo generations and look forward two more. Five generations of family lore: how much survives, how much perishes? I guess we write because we are repositories of so many memories, our own and those of others. Well written, Allan, and thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful paean to your past, the people who crossed your path, and the accompaniments to your journey. Well written! Chuck

    On Wed., Dec. 23, 2020, 6:39 p.m. rogermoorepoet, wrote:

    > rogermoorepoet posted: ” Forget-me-not! R.I.P. He was a good man, and a > better friend.He came over to mow the lawnand stayed for a beer.”This is > gonna sizzle!” Some called him uneducated, no BA, no MA, no LLB,but he had > a golden heartand a PhD in the schoolof life and h” >

    Liked by 1 person

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