L.E.G Poem by Tony Jennett


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A line of doggerel? Poor enough in truth,
For one so rich in spirit. Yet I won
Her loving with a poem. In the sun
In the hey-dey May Day dizziness of youth;
And, since the wing of death has brushed her brow
There is no other way to love her now

Like most, I took the liberty I know
Of taking her for granted: vaunted male
And little woman; yet; to bewail
Her loss? She would not want it so.
As mother, lover, counsellor and wife
She saw no better way to spend her life.

As teacher, like a gardener she worked;
Youth-fingered, patient, strong and deft of ruse
To make her charges burgeon and enthuse
Whatever fires and talents in them lurked
She hall-marked pupils with the skill she spent
And who could crave a fairer monument?

And on the field she took with equal thanks
Dame Fortune’s buffets and rewards. A waterfall
Of laughter, masking guile, bewitched the ball
And wove it through attacking ranks
Of forwards, gracing in a moments fleeting snick
The strength, the speed, the skill behind the stick

As mountaineer she harvested the peace
That ice and rock and sweat and danger bring
And shared it all with me – had me sing
The hymn of verticals. Now in the cease
Of life she treads each foot-sore cherished hill;
Each crag, each valley, wanders where she will

And when the surgeon's scalpel whittled out
The shocking signpost, pointing to the end
She counted Lady Luck a bosom friend
And joked that, since her span was less in boubt
Than that of others e’re she crossed the border
She’d time at least to put her house in order

So, grave no plaque and sigh no mourning breath
For Sheila. She was blithe and bids you know
That when her waning body made her go
Her spirit danced an impish jive with death
As if to say “Though you have come for me
“I’ll rob you of your might and majesty'

If we could view this life through her brave eyes
We’d find Death shrunken - just a bit, in size

Ernestine Northover 11 June 2006

What a beautiful and emotional tribute Tony. A lovely poem which made me cry, and yet rejoice at the same time. Words cannot describe how I feel, you have described it better than anyone could. Love Ernestine XXX

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Rev. Dr. A. Jacob Hassler 30 November 2005

this is amazing, Tony. i particularly liked the way you broke up your rhyming pattern. it kept the poem's tenderness and kept it from sounding hokey. outstanding. Jake

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Poetry Hound 28 November 2005

Such beautiful and touching tribute, Tony. Assuming this is a true-to-life poem, she was probably lucky to have someone like you.

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