Many inquiries have been leveled at the absence of my father, Dyson Douglas McIllwain, here on his “wordplace” (as he called it) and the many generous web logs to which he had contributed. All noble questions which I had not the strength nor courage to answer. Da loved words as much as he loved to travel, spreading his might and muse every step of the way. He had fallen hard due to the passing of his cousin and true friend, Iain, two Novembers past. Sadly, he had taken to toasting the occasion a wee bit too frequently and smoking excessively, abusing his emphysema riddled body to extremes.
He had been writing to the very end, fearful that his beloved words would stop before he did. He expressed this well (I think) in the final poem of his scribblings. Father has passed from all of his afflictions and addictions (including his poetry) on 2 Aug 2012. He is no longer “tethered to the heather” as he liked to say. His pipes lay silent. There are no memorials established, nor did Father want any. All he required was the kindness of words to surround his memory. Think kind thoughts of him often. I miss him most dearly.
These are his last words as written:
IF MY WORDS SHOULD DIE by Dyson Douglas McIllwain
If my words should die afore me,
t’would be the cruelest thing
to ne’er hear their tender voice,
nor hear their fervent ring.
Silence would befall my heart
afore death gathers in,
and as my poor soul shall depart
would leave not clamour, nor din.
The soul from which compassion comes
would wither then and cease,
a muse no longer to express
of heart and mind deceased.
If my words should die afore me
my memory will fade,
the spears and arrows of my fate
will be the price so paid.
But shall I pass afore my words,
then in them I shall live,
for they will speak my final say
and comfort they will give.
They will live as they had lived in me,
much life to give within their breath,
and I am sure I will be remembered
well then after death.
Men in plaid, skirted
and flirting with machismo
where’er they go they blow.
The sound sweet as chocolate
filling the air; making the hair
on my arms to stand and salute.
The intonation is a sensation
that any Scot would devour.
It is our theme, the soundtrack
that brings us back to the sod.
My God, it fills the air with flair,
whene’er the cauld pipe reels play there.
My darling daughter you stir me,
with love and pride inside.
Your were born to change lives;
grow in your beauty, be a good wife
or partner, your heart is unbound
and had found its place within
my very own. Nothing small about
the feats you will perform. I am warmed
by your brilliant glow. And I know you can be
all that you aspire to as you step assuredly.
But, don’t be in a bloody hurry to leave just yet!
You are three hours old and we’ve only just met!
I’ve tapped the feelings I had on the day Kairn was brought into this world. She graduates from University and I couldn’t be any more inspired by her intelligence and beauty.
We march to our own beat,
the sweet syncopation that drives
every step; adept at keeping your feet
when others about you are losing their heads.
The pipes blare and wail; a tale told in the hold
of a celtic clutch and in as much, deeply.
The snap of snare is crisp and a wisp of generations
lives within it. You didn’t begin it, but carry
the torch of your clan and your kin.
Your pace is halting but sure,
and you’re raising your banner high,
a sky full of past and an earth full of futures
converge in the present to give the gift
that life possesses. A different drum;
a heart in living rythym.
Yon bonnie banks heal my hardened heart,
as wistful wonder brings me back to my home.
Having had traveled to places,
familiar faces serve to soothe my soul.
It takes its toll. This grand goal
really refreshes a world wide fool.
Spirits soar when the Highland hills call.
The dance of life brought them to this moment.
As the music fades, they
dance one last time,
knowing love lives on.
Written for the Poetic Bloomings Prompt #48 – In The Shadows
Skin so fair,
milky and unblemished
with the purity of wind blown snow.
Hair so fair,
golden blonde tresses flow
to frame the chiseled features below.
Eyes so fair,
the windows of her soul.
Look to view each season of this man.
Love so fair,
reaching into my heart
to claim the places where it resides.
The heart goes on. Long after
thoughts of her fade. It is said
that ’tis better to have lost at love
than to have never ventured.
The heartache is the same.
I can not blame her
for wanting more, but when one
is unsure, one teeters on the brink.
So, learn to swim or sink,
but in the end the tally is the same.
Life is the no win game. But play
as if your life depended upon it.
Believe in the heart; it goes on.
And you will be fine until you flatline!
Blessed are those who do not see and still believe.
The truth is, eyes can decieve and leave one
with an uneasy feeling that questions their own
verity. Sincerity and logic are the pudding
in which the truth is proved. It abides in each of us.
Have a bit of faith and wait for the signs to point it out,
the annointed ones are no more favored than the least.
Put you finger in His side and His palms for that matter,
you need no stigmata to steer your heart. Have no doubt
or fear. Just believe what is here, and you will see.
You worry about my comings and goings,
as if I am tied to someone else’s life.
But life is rife with opportunities
and the unities we have established
do not serve to anchor a heart when
feet continue to seek new ground.
My acquaintances know my nomadic ways,
and I spend days and weeks at a time
enjoying what’s mine when I find it!
(Mine AND the time!) So let me be,
and I’ll be. Just leave your message
at the beep. I’ll get back when I am!