He crossed the road every day
To The Forries for a pint
To laugh and talk, discuss, rebuke
All those into his sight he took.
To crosswords sometimes he put his mind
Helping Kenny with The Times
But, he didn’t always get it right
Mistakes and Crossing Outs were rife
When Budgie said, and slapped the page,
“That’s it finished now, you know”
John as always just replied,
“I told you that an hour ago.”
Another crossroads he now met,
Which, for us, is still to come,
But, with his known wily grin
He took this one fully on his chin,
“It’s not Swine Flu”,
Rainbow he cried.
Another of his quick asides.
In later weeks he lost much weight
But to get to Reekie couldn’t wait,
In Train and Wheelchair with John in tow
Rainbow and Stevie B. did go
“To all his old haunts he did kid,
For sandwiches and Coke”
No drink this time, not even wine,
His medicine forbid.
His light darkened after that
And he retired to his flat,
Sitting at his window looking out
But then became too ill for that
Sickness became him every day
And the Hospice then became his Hame
Were he Created Havoc and Mayhem
Until his Birthday came
A party he had then decreed
So to The Forries did return
“Come to my Wake, don’t be slow
They’ve got to take me back you know
Pay attention, don’t delay,
I may only have a few more days”
With cakes and candles, friends and foes
John enjoyed this last show
Sixty seven seems too young
To lose someone who gave so much fun
With his stories sent to test
Of Masons, Scouts and the rest.
“Colin, don’t you know, I built
The torpedo that sank
The Bloody Belgrano! ! ! ”
The last thing I have to say
Is something that I heard that day
John had given one last shout
As the Reaper came to lead him out
Then Alec got it in his head
To go back to the flat
To check for this or check for that
About the time of the cry, he said
The ceiling had fallen on John’s Bed.
But, knowing Jack, as we do,
I feel sure that this is true
The fact that cry came at all
Was when The Reaper came to call
And pointed out the way to go,
Dear Boy, with that last ecstatic shout,
“Before we leave, just turn about.
That’s not the way, I want to go
You’ve really got it Wrong you know”
To the Memory of John (Jack) Henderson
Storyteller and Poet., Aberdour.
1943 - 2010
'Dear Boy' was a village character, who could always come up with a poem or story, at one time or another he had been a spy, a designer of torpedoes,
flown a plane, re-translated German text for Germans because it was wrong...
In other words he was just 'John' and will not be forgotten...
Colin J… 18th Sep 2010