Father’s Day 2017

A father gives life…

perhaps biologically, through forgiveness, by welcome acceptance, with love beyond reason

A father tunes in to a person…

similar, different, unique, valuable

A father recognises…

passions, fears, dreams, realities, potential, capacity

A father teaches…

The 3 R’s, repentance, responsibility, shoe laces, no training wheels, boundaries, honesty

A father models…

excellence, reliability, growth, consistency, faithfulness, sacrifice, generosity, trust, respect, integrity

A father needs…

his children, his grandchildren – those from himself, and those who came (or were brought) to himself

A father loves…



My father has been all of these things. Some done well; others falteringly; still others because of the nature of his relationship with my mother; there were those that stemmed from his design or own experience; and some of the most precious were those he learned, both deliberately and incidentally.

One of the greatest gifts in my life has been my father. But I’m luckier than most as my dad was also father and grandfather to others beside myself, and those I call mine.

Dad taught me to install a new gearbox and mix concrete by hand (though these were so long ago, I’m up for re-learning). I know how to use a shovel, spade and crow bar (including standing it in the ground so it doesn’t get too hot to hold in the Australian sun). With my dad, I have raised sheds (many a family bonding/dividing occurred during shed-raising), erected swimming pools and dug sewer trenches.

Dad taught me to fill in forms correctly, complete my own tax return, save money, and give it generously. I learned to drive with my dad beside me (and not to wreck his tires on rough edges!). I learned how to check my oil and water (even though I blew up an engine twice), and change a tyre – on EVERY car. I built airplanes, and drank beer from shot glasses in my dad’s shed.

I learned to search out information, truth and lies for myself – and what to do if I needed to find outside assistance. I learned I can surrender to and challenge authority when necessary, and that I will be recognised (and even heeded) when I do so.

I learned that even the unhealthiest of my choices will be respected, and I will always be welcome – even when I have rejected, betrayed and taken my dad’s love for granted. I learned that love has boundaries to protect it, and those that love has brought together.

I’ve watched my dad father those who were not of his own, but were his own just the same.

He has held their children, showed them how to grow to be men, walked them to their waiting life partner, comforted them while they waited for hospital care, helped them uncover some value in life when they could see none, showed them what a loving family looks like, given them a home, presented their funeral farewell, challenged their darkness, led them to light.

I don’t know who will read this, but for many of you he shared his food, gave up his sleep, shared his food, gave his time, shared his food, laughed with you, shared his food, provided his home, shared his food. Did I mention that he shared his food?

My father’s not perfect, but he has been perfectly wonderful for me. And I am exceptionally grateful.


I love you Dad!

A Heart Sustained

Though pricked and squeezed, pierced and sliced

And even torn asunder;

A heart sustained can beat again

In strength as bold as thunder


Inner strength depleted

Internal resource spent

Outside working from within

Enabling life extant


Hope is only hopeful

With certainty assured

Repair brought only by sustainer;

Sole provision to endure


Designed and planned in foresight

In foresight – healed, restored, sustained

Supple vigour, from scars and healing

Wrought and fashioned; formed through pain


Life-giver and sustainer – Grace,

Bearing scars which stem from pain

Is only hope that my life’s sentence,

Will continue on – sustained



Jewelsmith – Catherine the Jeweller






come together

for the purpose

of bringing to mind





come together

for the purpose

of relating

experience, history, cost, loss, protection, courage, sacrifice…consequence





in memorandum

of ‘consequentia’

as precedent to



Lest we repeat

Lest we consume

Lest we self-destruct

Lest we forget



A Heart Pierced

Assumed I, you would not see me

This, for us, not the pain to be

But stabbing, piercing agony

At tries to sever the heart and soul of thee


Eating, sleeping, snuggling you

A people’s person; loyal, true

Though you will seek to please, retain

They will puncture you, to stay the same


Affection will your offer be

To those who will not ever see

Your insight and your contribution

Dismissed, unseen, is your confusion


Loving, you will love complete

But many will not save a seat

A pierce-ed heart with bloody stain

Like mine, you will sometime sustain



A Heart Squeezed

Revisit a potential loss

To manage, will expect of course

With loss confirmed, it’s no surprise

This time ready, more the wise


Feeding fast, though sleep eludes

Enthusiasm, but holding wounds

No praising, hugging, teaching for

This one, will even any score


Assured of self, from day of birth

At home assured of all her worth

But other’s insecurities – and need for all conformity

Will squeeze, compress my heart with ease


To know your value and your worth

While others doubt, you yourself birth

Your own heart knows compression’s squeeze

As stifled, thwarted you’ll not be pleased



A Heart Pricked

My heart was pricked; a short, sharp sting

My first-born, as I looked at him

Would not, in turn, behold my face

My gaze of love, he would not trace


It’s true, there was a heartfelt ache

This path of life I would now take

The ache did not, though, linger long

But late in time, return in song


The latter song of long lament

Came with fever, a nightmare sent

And seizures; vacant, empty gaze

Salivate, then sleep for days


Lamenting long, and spent of days

To fight for teaching, what a maze!

Some would try to empathise

But weary soon of compromise


And now the sting, it lingers on

As time now brings you, your fight song

A world not used to other wise

Lamenting sting now your sweet prize