Lindsay Smith

Rookie (December 16,1939 / Mataura, Southland, New Zealand)

Horace - Poem by Lindsay Smith

dedicated to Bill Robinson

because he would have smiled.
When I was a kid in a country
the inspector of schools came to visit.
He called our sweet lady teacher
an excellent unit.
She didn't smile at that..
He called the girls Mary & the boys Horace.
He said that, ‘Mary was the mother of god'
& ‘Horace was a great Latin poet
who was alive before the time of Christ.'
He wrote those names on the black board,
but when he talked to us he called us
Mary & Horrors because he said
he didn't have time to remember our names.
He called the boys Horrors
every time with a grin
& the girls were required to curtsy
when they answered.
Our lovely teacher did not smile at that.
We all loved her very much.
I think she thought
although she didn't dare to say so in those days
that the inspector of schools
was just a smart arse.

Poet's Notes about The Poem

Hard to say what category this actually belongs in because I have followed the dictum of an old friend journalist & teacher who wrote the classic ‘Bull & more bull.' Robbo now dead said ‘never spoil a good story by sticking to the truth.' Thanks for that Robbo.

Robbo's bones are in the Northside Cemetery diagonally across from the BigW supermarket complex. I was there for his funeral service at St Vincents sitting beside Kiddy Bolger, Maths teacher extraordinary & author of textbooks. Along the end of the pew from us Miss Cranky, Librarian was weeping. I nodded that way to Kiddy & he said, 'didn't you know? ' I didn't before & I grinned.

Robbo was buried in a fine suit his wife bought him that he never wore while he was alive. I was there to throw dirt on the old fox's box & I tried not to grin in front of his wife & family.

Maybe what I have written is a flash narrative poem. We'll let Robbo figure that out for you. He's up there discussing this with Horace & the heavenly hosts if you believe all that claptrap.

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Mary Elizabeth Frye

Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep

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Poem Submitted: Monday, July 30, 2012

Poem Edited: Tuesday, July 31, 2012

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