The poem I wrote this week for Jon Van Goes’ JVG Radio Method on 3RRR was on the theme “AROUND”.

Click to hear today’s poem… [audio:JVG_Poem20080323.mp3]

This week Dan Warner and I ran the show, JVG had “nipped off for a quick one” as they say and in his absence it fell to us to man the console. It’s hard work, selecting the music, although I did have a great time rummaging through some of the older albums in my collection and figuring out which button to push next. I think I will be glad to have him back next week.

Dan was playing the guitar in the background this week.


AROUND

“I’ll see you around” a phrase common enough, but to a six year old it didn’t quite gel
Given the speaker had lost both her legs, had one good arm, a broken back as well

Confined to her house for over thirty years, Mrs Evelynne, (what was left) both jolly and plump
Dragged along by my parents and told not to slouch, “And whatever you do don’t stare at her stumps”

What seemed an eternity was no more than an hour but a trip to the dentist was never as hard
“Yes I’ve grown” “School’s alright” “Yes I look like my mother” “Now Please can I go and play in the yard”

Her health waxed and waned, but never her spirit, a gradual decline saw her bound to her bed
She’d have me bring books from the shelf in her study, I’d turn the pages, while Mrs E read

What remained of her body was formless and wasted, each breath laboured as though sucked through a straw
But her eyes so alive, joyous, excited, independent, unfettered and free to explore

Those stories grew wings and flew off the pages, worlds came alive, both bitter and sweet
An eight-year-old boy and a crippled old lady, what began as a chore had grown into a treat

We went searching for treasure with Long John Silver, stopped to admire the Emperor’s new clothes
Spent more than one evening in Spadger’s Lane with our own Ginger Mick and his sweetheart Rose

Faced certain death with 300 Spartans as the armies of Xerxes prepared to invade
When told Persian arrows would blot out the sun, replied “So much the better, we shall fight in the shade”

With Charles Kingsford-Smith we crossed the pacific, Oakland to Brisbane in just over a week
We stood on a hill, witnessed in silence abominable acts simply known as Myall Creek

We hid in the attic as Anne Frank wrote her diary, sailed aboard the Titanic, till it sank without trace
We were standing with Zola when he screamed “I Accuse” with Hillary and Tensing we scaled the south face

We set out with Scott to be first to the Pole, to find Amundsen had reached it just five weeks before
We were locked in a cell with Emmeline Pankhurst, Michael Collins, “Weary” Dunlop and other prisoners of war

When Mahatma Ghandi walked over 200 miles, to promote independence, we followed behind
Preaching non-violence, he told those who’d listen “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind”

Rowed a boat to Kilbride beside Flora McDonald, taking “Bonnie” Prince Charlie to find shelter on Skye
We camped with the miners at Eureka Stockade, took a slow walk with Aesop as a tortoise crawled by

We crawled through the trenches from Turkey to Flanders, staggered how anyone lived through that hell
How Gallipoli’s etched on the soul of a nation, but little more than blank stares when you mention Fromelles

Teamed up with Tin Tin to save Captain Haddock, shot down with Biggles but gained a reprieve
Flew on a carpet beside Ali Baba, discovered the Dreamtime and never wanted to leave

Decades have passed, Mrs E long since dead, the years in between not much more than a blur
I’ve travelled, experienced, had countless adventures, but none have surpassed those I shared with her

The world is as many as the minds that explore it, history changes each time it’s rewound
Without your imaginings words lose their meaning, it takes more than legs to get you around

© Copyright 2007 Ian Bland

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