“The Bravest of us All”
And never again shall his laughter be heard,
Or his humour which caused such levity,
Or the warmth and concern from every word,
Of his gregarious and uninhibited integrity.
Oh, I shall always remember his perpetual smile,
And the engaging charm in his mischievous eyes,
And his wit, clever words to disarm and to beguile,
No malicious intent, just a simple loving disguise.
The trees all proud, stand tall and guard the place,
Where my brother in his eternal sleep, transcends,
Where Mother Earth now holds him in her loving embrace,
And carries him to that other world; life never ends.
And so my friend it shall be but a moment,
We will meet again and though you are the first to fall,
Do you remember when we played, you are like a scout sent
To find and blaze a trail, the bravest of us all…
It seems now like it was only a few days ago that I wrote this poem for my brother when he passed away at the age of 31 in 1990. Funny, they say, how time flies. It was my brother’s birthday the other day and he would have been 53. There are times when I still miss him! And, I guess for many of you there are others whom have already gone before and you too remember something(s) that made them special which time can’t erase. For me it is a bit about the place and the memories associated with them.
I am back in my community of Fort McKay for a few days and I look around and see all the changes that have happened and it amazes me, but I also see the many changes that have transpired in Fort McMurray and I am, to varying degrees, pissed off at progress. What amazes me about this is the lack of concern for the historical aspects in this oil rich place. Fort Mac is my home town and I bet I am not the only “old-timer” who has the same feelings, just ask anyone who has been here since the beginning; when GCOS (Suncor) was being built. And I hate to say this, but it is a pitiful little place that we call a ‘Historical Park. And, it makes me sad that my home town has changed so much that I only recognized it now because of the Athabasca, Horse, and Clearwater Rivers. And even these are changing (this is another story, for another time)!
Oh time will tell us and our children what really makes the difference and what really matters. A lot of people will only know and find this out when what they’ve come to love, perhaps a person, a thing or a place, is truly gone. When something or someone has taken it away. I can see this very clearly because I live it and I can do nothing about it! How can one person stop progress? How can one person stand up against the waves of people who come here looking for work from all parts of the world? If I had a chance I would say… slow down, sit back and smell the roses, smell the coffee, take a walk along our beautiful rivers, listen to the birds, feel the place and if you really want, you may be able to feel the presence and the essence of the place. You may still be able to hear what the Elders have to say, what the old people are talking about and you might just see what the place has to offer.
Yes I know everyone on this earth has a right to have the best possible chance of making a living for themselves and perhaps, for their family. I don’t want to stop this. What I really want is for people to see what is happening in the world around them. I know that for a lot of people this is not really their home, but all I ask is that when you come here, or for that matter – go to any other place, that you respect what that place and what our world has to offer. Don’t think that what you do here doesn’t affect your home town; because it does and you know it. The destruction of a place is not just local, it is now global. What you and I do here, not only affects place, it affects time and it affects all living things, including you and me and our children.
Now because of this blog site I’ve had my say, I’ve had my ‘soap-box’ moment and I only hope that a few people will read this. You may agree with me and you may not and that is okay. Yet there is one thing I know we can all agree to do and that is to take the time to think about those who are no longer here, to think about our old friends, and to think about our brothers whom have gone before us. Yet at this moment I urge you all to really think about one so great, one whom we all love – our ‘Mother Earth’!
This brings me full circle and back to my latest thoughts and this new poem. This is a topic that has been on my mind for a long time and it is only now that I have the time to write. I feel my energy and my spirit coming back and it is a good thing! Thank you for taking the time to read this. I hope you enjoyed my first poem and I hope you will enjoy the others that will follow…
“And in a Second… life”
Time, time, time, is a second counting,
The seconds, the hours and the years – lifetimes!
The world has existed, since all beginnings,
Since time immemorial – since a second began.
And within that second… memory.
Our creation of the universe, is only a thought,
All beginnings, all middles and all ends – light speeds!
We each go to, our own other life,
Our own time within – ours, yours and mine.
And into life is born… hope.
In one thought, out, then into another,
Everywhere we go, here it is and they they are – time circles!
Youth and ages passing, count one and another,
Count us in between – count 1, 2, 3.
And for the most altruistic reason… love.
We lived and grow, cried and celebrate, forced through it all,
Worked hard, worn well and still some wasted – thoughts!
As each and every movement forward, in cadence we step,
In life we love, in thought we revel and through it all – in a second, death.
And consider this always… one universe, one world, one life – one second.