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.
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.
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!
And so, I’m planning on attempting Poetic Asides November Chapbook Challenge. A poem a day for the month? I may hate myself in the morning. Good luck to all contestants and poets. We’re all winners!
Alright, I’m not buying the bullshite either. Good luck inspite of that!
Neeps and tatties, neeps and tatties,
a dram, and a dram, and a dram.
The foulest tasting haggis
’tis too much for any man. I have had
my fill and lost the thrill;
’tis certainly a waste, there is not
enough whiskey to kill this haggis taste.
To kill this haggis taste,one surely must be tested,
To not partake is no mistake, your taste buds will be bested.
As for this man, forgive me clan, my solution’s not absurd,
the golden archway beckons me, over 30 billion served.
Each week begins
amidst winks and grins,
pawing and fawning
over the buxom beauty.
lady and him. George.
Obnoxious lout, out of line.
She leans in for a kiss, but
he resists reaching instead
for the bread to complete his meal.
Luncheon meats sandwiched and slathered.
As we play in wait for the crumbs to fall.
What is a picnic without ants, after all?
Still fairly new to me, but the poetry site where I have started to post is called Poetic Asides, not Poets Aside. Ha, not a way to make friends first shot out! Apologies Poetic Asides.
It seems my “muse” is used to certain amenities; that regimentation was highly restrictive for our growth. This new venture has me in search of a change of scenery. My initial foray into such a place is encouraging.
Writer’s Digest.com hosts something called Poets Aside. From what I gather they offer prompting on Wednesdays. My first few attempts came quickly, but that was never the problem. Quality was lacking. Hopefully with a return to confidence and some backing I can improve on that front.
I will keep searching for others venues to augment my poetry.
Where to begin? The beginning is a great place to start. I am re-establishing my work and artistry of words, and thus this blog will be my means of expression for all things creative. My old site has been removed to provide the impetus to regain a freshness of thought. Where do these thoughts lead?
Poetry. I am beholding to the Masters (and have acquired a rather Burnsian attitude, although I do not restirct myself to such one-mindedness). For there exists a kinship with all poets, of all nationalities and opinion. I hope to be considered worthy to be included in their number.
I do not pretend to be great at my assumed “trade”. However, I am great of effort and resovlve. I trust my words will find a way into your thoughts, aye, even to the heart!
Welcome to my new endeavor. Long may she wave!