indigo eli

gentle man

It’s National Road Safety Week in Australia and I find myself watching a quiz show hosted by Paul McDermott. The intersections are gaining on me, but it’s a question about a basin in this land that lifts me back, to a song … and a poem … that leads me here to remember just one of too many.

James, I wrote this soon after. Didn’t know how to share it, to say it. Whether to. Some things take years, a quiz show and a glass of wine cupped in earth-stained fingers, to say cheers mate. This one’s for you…

gentle man

Dear James,

these days we dig in delicate sands, uncover memories
you: gentle man
you: tall in thought and bone

you soft voice,

you … took time.

you were: my dear friend’s dear lover
my friend, dear
you are

       a treasure-fossil in our memory hearts
a wise curiosity, unforgotten
giving still

Dear James,

when I clear a path into the past with soft brush
we’re drinking wine
in your front yard, considering:
the flames
local wildlife
the slow-weaving train

and the thermal mass
of the dug-out seat
on which we sit and ponder silent

Dear James,

the day I was told
your favourite song
the day I was told you were …

                        the day the world lost you

                                                     I played that song
and sang
for the tunes I never heard ring
from your stringed fingers

Dear James,

the red roses I grow were picked early
in the morning, travelled

                                                 the    long     road        with      us,

                                                                                                            were buried with you

each cut stem considered, the paper shroud
that wrapped, considered, the twist
of the twine that held stems close, considered, yours

Dear James,

The day you were buried so many dug deep

Dear James,

James had a great passion for palaeontology and was reportedly on the search for an extinct kangaroo fossil. Many folk described James as a gentle giant. His legacy lives on in the James Moore Memorial Prize.

This is the song: Hunters & Collectors’ Throw Your Arms Around Me as sung by the Doug Anthony All Stars. James wasn’t around to see this recording, and I do recommend the earlier DAAS version, but as someone who learnt young to live with this reminder, I reckon the prelude is worth it:

Cheers mate! You’ve left a mark.

© Indigo Eli. Terms of Use.
This entry was published on November 15, 2020 at 8:58 pm. It’s filed under page, words and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

2 thoughts on “gentle man

  1. Gaibrielle Scaglione on said:

    So, so, so beautiful, Indigo

  2. Coral Carter on said:

    This caused me to go on a DAAS adventure through YouTube. what avoice Paul McD has !

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