R J Maguiness

My Grandfather left me poetry
A paperback with tattered edges, pale red and dog-eared
Worn at its heart where his palms rubbed, suffering stains

Lead marks denote the poems he revered
The poems he read to rapt students
Poems he read to his children
Poems he read to me

My Grandfather left me poetry
This “sullen craft”
And now, wherever he may be, he guides my voice
The hand that holds the saber

A slow burning fire he lit, continuing to rage as I heap fuel upon it
The incendiary vapours of Dylan Thomas, Coleridge, Shelley and J.K Baxter

I hope to read to him when we next meet
But then again, he’s likely looking from his lofty height
Atop the billowy cloud that Grandma need not fluff
With earl grey in hand, with sugar enough

It’s well that no ailments concern him now
In the great library in the sky
His gait steady and wit quick

I will love his love, and treasure it always
The books, the craft, and those that he so admired
And hope to do him proud

His good old boy


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