Sunday, 15 November 2015

So many years ago

I remember old Ted Wilson
Us boys saw him in the forest
That was so many years ago

Lived in this old timber shack
With smoke coming out the chimney
Blue snake drifting up to heaven

Ted was a rough diamond Dad said
Poor as a church mouse Mum chipped in
I saw he had dirty fingernails

Grimy overalls, smutty voice
Not that us kids minded that not us
He had one of those old tin baths

Just hanging on a nail outside
All rusted through no good at all
Not that he had a use for it

Don't think he had friends either
Just had this dog that welcomed us
A mutt of doubtful parentage

That ran round and round in circles
When we passed because he liked us
One day we got caught in the rain

So ran back there for shelter
Old Ted took us in to dry off
The wood flared up as he poked it

The dog wagged his tail then backed off
When the tongues of flame shot upwards
The rain beat against the window

But that was many years ago
He's been long gone now my dad too
Both served in the war together

Sadly when he got home again
His wife had been killed by a bomb
And he never got over that

Image found at


  1. What a sad ending..poor ol Ted.

  2. We all have our reasons for retreating..and yet he still had an open heart and i am glad he was found in some small way

  3. "Blue snake drifting up to heaven"
    A different kind of story than I'm used to reading here. You have a knack for it. The memory, the dog, the shelter, the shack are all so vivid to me and I love the tone of love, of offhandedness that cannot disguise the love.

  4. Very sad really. No one in this tale seemed to have led very happy lives before death claimed them all.

  5. I love this story of Ted...told as a folktale so well written Robin....I enjoyed the journey visiting Ted in his old cabin with his mutt...the imagery had me right there.

  6. Such a moving poem... a bit sad for Ted...

  7. This is an excellent narrative poem - you brought the character to life. A tragic tale.

  8. Peoples' stories are so amazing. I can picture him and feel how he never got over his loss.

  9. You've narrated the story so wonderfully through this poem. A great read :)

  10. I like Ted's story full of meaning and purpose though not very happy one...

  11. I didn't expect the ending, Robin. The memories of wars always bring a tear to my eyes.

  12. What a lovely story, vividly told ~ tragedies of war can be so heartbreaking.

  13. You are a wonderful storyteller. This piece is fascinating and layered: the effect of an act of violence on the destiny of one man ... who was not there ... is chilling. Violence has a terrible "ripple" effect.

  14. i love people stories, and you told this one so well. a bit sad but that's life sometimes, and i think Ted was a brave soul.

  15. Sometimes we never get over the things that happen in life.

  16. Love this kind of narration. The one that brings back memories where one was welcomed into their meager dwelling and offered some refreshments. Had similar experience with some old folks too many years ago.


  17. The ending hit me hard - too many people's endings. I'm glad he had the dog and that you remembered him in poetry.