It’s Sunday rhyme time, but I’m not going to share the poem I’ve written this week.
My amazing Uncle died recently, on the day before his 91st birthday, and I’ve been writing a poem to read at his funeral.
The poem tries to capture my Uncle in words: he was kind, generous, warm, strong, cheeky, an amazing storyteller and a true gentleman.
Sometimes it can take me a while to write a poem, or I’ll revise one numerous times before I’m happy with it, but this one seemed to flow in a couple of hours. Perhaps because his spirit was so strong, or maybe because he is very much in my heart.
I feel so lucky that I had the the time to get to know him over the years, not just as my Uncle, but as the wonderful man he was.
However many years we have with our loved ones, it’s never enough, but if we spend our time together wisely, we’ll have so much of them to remember.
I’m not ready to post the poem I’ve written for my Uncle, so the one I’m posting this week isn’t new, I first posted it in December, but it is one of my favourites. I hope you enjoy it.
As the snail slithered home from his art class, a poster caught his eye Dare to dream big, the poster proclaimed, you can do anything if you try The poster depicted a snail like him, with a magnificent shiny shell The shell had a pool and a Tiki bar; he fell under the posters spell So the snail went into banking, working long hours every day He slithered up the corporate ladder, chasing his dreams all the way At some point he stopped climbing, and the time ticked on and on The snail got older, his dream no closer, he started to wonder where he'd gone wrong He could still remember that poster, see the young snail with it all in his prime He'd worked hard every day, chased his dream all the way, what had happened to all that time? He twisted his head to look at his shell, mottled warm hues of beige and brown He gave a big sigh, a tear slipped from his eye, his tentacles drooped sadly down He sought out a wise snail to help him, and begged him to show him the way The wise snail smiled warmly and said, tell me plainly, your story of woe, I pray I dared to dream big for a magnificent shell with a pool and a Tiki bar I worked hard every day, put my pennies away, I've reached none of these dreams so far I used to be a happy snail, please tell me where I went wrong? The wise snail smiled sagely and said, could it maybe, be you've followed the wrong dream all along? Tell me snail, when you were young, what lit you up from inside? What was it set your soul on fire, before wealth kept you occupied? The snail thought back to his snailhood, when life felt simple and free I loved to make trails in all different colours, I made art for the world to see As his snailhood memories returned to him, his tentacles pricked up in delight How could I forget to draw, old wise sage? How, when it once felt so right? You were sold a false dream, it may seem like a trick, but it's part of the path you see For where you are now is, as always, right where you were meant to be I myself used to be a salesman, selling leaf blowers door to door But I nearly got stepped on, had a spiritual awakening and uncovered the 'me' at my core Now I help others find stillness, at the centre of being that's their self Once you find this, take it from me, the rest will take care of itself So the snail curled up and turned inward, into his small cosy warm brown shell He stayed there for days, meditated and prayed, found the self which he'd once known so well Now the snail spends his days making street art, and he earns enough to get by He let go his old dreams that served him no more, he found a new reason why Now his meaning is found in the shapes he creates, using colours of just the right hue His trails can be found, on the streets all around, his passion for life born anew