An Adventurous Soul

This is my latest poem – I wrote it for my father, who died on the 11th June.

He’s gone fishin’

Gone Fishin'
Gone Fishin'


An Adventurous Soul…


Have I been

The ties of bondage

Did I break

To be free

Sailed across the ocean

To a land of rich exuberant


That set my heart alight

Left behind

A training ground

Of heartbreak


And comradeship

Forged in

The furnace of

A Lancashire landscape

Where Accrington red brick


Covered the valleys

Between long lost forests



Enslaving a people

Once so proud

And brave

Even bears trod with respect

 A people

With such a will to live

That deafness working the loom

Rations not fit for a warrior folk

       And loss of power

Took not their souls

But lifted them;

Survivors in humour


A perfected art form

Cushioning the agony

Protecting their chicks

Look out for our own

Make summat outta nowt

Make merry

Like there is no tomorrow

An adventurous soul

Have I been

From the waters of Eire

To the rivers of Ayr



I have fished

And made merry

Forged friendships in malted hops

And left memories in the hearts of hosts




Music in my soul

From the dancehalls to the theatres

The language of my soul

Both irreverent and deep reverence

Served my time

Aboard a naval vessel

Learnt the ways

Of islands still wild

Loved and lost

Explored my freedom

Lived life

Like tomorrow never comes

Came home

Settled down

Gave up my hard earned freedom…


Known in my heart

That our own destiny we forge

That whatever we reach out for

Is within our grasp





Settled down

Gave up my hard won freedom

To take up the mantle

Of a householder

Bowling with aim

Sure as an archer

Met me a wife

Reared me a daughter

And then one more

Accepted the mantle

Of response ability

Found the tender one


And to distressed child in the night

Offered succour

Rose early

And coaxed breakfast

Into the mouths

Of reluctant young

Lifts to school

Sucking strong peppermints

A kiss goodbye

And suddenly grown




Step away

And I know the poignancy

Of young leaving the nest

My heart aches

And forgotten grief

Attempts to rise


To the surface


Can I find strength

In vulnerability?

Lancashire born

Countryman heart

Wild adventurous soul

Vulnerable, me?

Ah, no

Ask not that

Leave me my dignity

Warrior, hero, father.

A challenge, a step too far,

For this time around.

A move down south,

Take it easy

But habits they die hard

In a Lancashire lad

Life and Soul

Our George

Made us laugh

One o’ t’ lads

Heart o’ gold?


But don’t wear it on your sleeve lad

Be a man

‘er indoors

And the bairns

Need you to be strong.

Ah yes, dad


Need you to be true

To you


Loving heart

Don’t hide that

It’s solid gold

More precious than a diamond

Adventurous soul,

It’s your heart that we love.