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I read Jeremy Paxman in The Guardian the other day, talking about the irrelevance of some poetry today, as a lot of poets just seem to write for other poets, to enter competitions and sound high-falutent (my spell-checker suggested I change this to flatulent!) and pretentious, and not really for the ordinary man and woman. There is no doubt that as I read poetry on this website and others I really enjoy the raw emotional stuff that others write, so much so that a recent one by Blogpoet got me thinking about my relationship with my own father, Derek Grant (a subject about which I have written before). So I wrote down my thoughts, raw and crude below as they came out, warts and all. In this I talk to him and about him. When he died I went through his stuff and found things that left so many unanswered questions. For example I found that he wrote…poetry…!!! I believe a lot of the modern poetry I read on this Site could easily be studied as part of the GCSE/IB curriculum on literature, some of the stuff I read here is absolutely brilliant and definitely inspires me to come back and re-read. Some of you have recommended me books and other poets and Amazon has done a trade as a result, and I am richer in my soul.
Oh and as I read my own poem below, it speaks loudest to myself…

That's the thing about Derek

Fdf5205c-8b5b-4da8-a6dc-63fe28d680a9by Billy J. Stewart04 Jun 2014

Ah now, but it was a hard auld station all right,
Holding back the wild thing, straining at the leash.
But I understand, like, how in the end,
You couldn’t be contained.
You had to go, just go,
And in the face of it all, you sort of went clean mad.
Chasing, falling into holes and drinking an ocean.
I found it, you know, the wee poem,
The one for Tommy.
God but where did you get the words?!
You might as well just have called the dammed thing…
“Acting the ligg – the story of my life!”
Black ink,
Brown envelope scribbles, clothes-peg to hold them, bunched,
Tatty, torn, worn, windows to another dimension.
See, that’s the thing about Derek,
Full of surprises and stuff.
You know, when I think back to then, like,
You really were a prick-major,
Acting up all your dalliances in fuckology,
A dab hand with the ladies, oh yes, as I recall,
Centre of attention, king of the in-crowd,
Bugger the rest.
And when it all inevitably fell apart you ran,
As only you can.
I had a good hoak round all the old things you left.
What a Mummy’s boy, and she thought you a cherubim,
Butter wouldn’t melt,
Or did I miss something?
What’s with this pile of letters,
Clumped in string knots, yellow with age,
Tender with penitence and apron strings?
See, that’s the thing about Derek,
He sure wrote a lot of stuff.
It’s all clumped away in ancient biscuit tins,
Smelling of metal and must, maybes and mights,
Holding the missed alternatives.
Aye, I can’t fathom it all.
OK we talked about some things you and me,
I kept my distance, not going into all that shit again,
Not doing the whole guilt thing,
Haven’t the guts to go “once more to the breach, dear friends!”
Just talk.
And in talking I suppose I saw what I always knew.
You were just wired in a different way.
And I have to come about a different road,
So like you that I am, as a crock of damaged goods,
You bloody mad, infuriating, alcoholic, selfish, philandering, hedonistic fool.
The world is full of people like you.
People like me.
Yea, that’s the thing about Derek.