Hes dead now: David.
I didn’t go and see him
When he was fading
And it’s bothered me
That I didn’t make time
Too busy to see the end of his life
Living mine.
Time. Just. Slipped.
Though in my mind
He is only ever fully alive.

The first time we met
He stumbled, Zeus-like
Wild white hair and thunderous,
Down the stairs
Planets bouncing around him
Tumbling earthbound.
Making his entrance
With no regard for the laws of the Universe.
Being real. Being alive.
White is how I remember him –
Pure and true.

His presence in a room
Like the flash of magnesium ribbon.
And laughter.

He taught me more than
How to be a teacher in between.
“I’ll be back!” he’d boom down
The timeless corridor, glass shaking.
“I’m going to Aldi for rocket fuel,”
And he’d drift back in
Glug of scorching cofffee poised
A time later to teach his class
Who were waiting, usually
– though they didn’t know
Til many years later
Just how much they learned.
None of us did.

He never watched me teach
Didn’t see me at the start
Like I didn’t see him at the end.
“Well as long as you’re not
Making flags for the Hitler Youth!” he’d bluster,
Leaving me to find my way.
I wasn’t. And I did.
He never questionned when
Description was done with doughnuts
Poetry through Tupac and Cher
When a stack of books I wanted arrived
“Just invoice the office!”

When teaching and learning
Were truly entangled as one.

I imagine you now, drinking coffee
In the clouds –
Perhaps finally in a space
Big enough to freely be,
Still wrecking havok with the system.
White haired and Zeus-like.

Curious that you clattered
back into my thoughts
And now here you are:
Written immortal and finding a place
On bookshelves to be read alive
Again in a way.
Reimagined in words
That you loved.

On a shelf in a library
We’ll get chance now, to sit among
The texts we didn’t read
For the essays we somehow wrote
In the Bluecoat rooms.
I can already hear your laughter
Echoing off the walls.
As you share your wit
With the writers worthy of your mind.

Author: Lowrey E. Gray

Usually found with a cup of tea, a pet or a book, I am most content with life's humble gifts. A catch up with friends and home baked cakes is my idea of bliss. My heart beats where my family are close but my soul will always be in that place between sunset and sunrise. 💚

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