Thursday, June 23, 2011

Farewell for Dan

           from John, your son-in-law

You were everywhere
as we crossed the Nullarbor
and everywhere as we
crossed back again: in you,
east met west, and the compass
beat like a heart. We recognised
you in outback towns, yarning
with workers in the main street,
telling the shire president
what’s what. Your name
resonated through decades:
everybody knew you,
and the stories
by and about you.
We spent nine hours
talking hind legs, and each
minute was a discovery;
places I knew well
you repainted in rich colours:
red dust, endless sunrises,
blokes who knew a bloke
who knew a bloke,
the station, the mine, the motel
you stayed in there and back,
there and back, a view
at the Bunda Cliffs you shared
with Tracy, who shared it with me
and Tim — the power of an
ocean that holds the continent
in place, accountable.
‘What’s news, Dan?
How have you been?’
Overdrive, gift of the gab,
full of spark, don’t judge
a book by its cover.
That’s poetry, Dan,
and your yarns
were the utterances
poems live through.


Barbara Temperton said...

Deepest sympathy to you and John and all your family, Tracy. Sorry to hear about your Dad, bestest, B

Tracy Ryan said...

Thanks, Barbara.