Farewell William


My father, Bill, was a man of science. But he also liked words.

He liked to read, and occasionally to write, poetry.


Words. Some of these words are his own.

Dad didn’t like clichés.  And he didn’t like farewells.

So how does one say goodbye?


Dad, you were a quiet presence in my life.

A sensible presence, a solid presence.

A guiding light.  A rock.  A reference.


You are quieter now, but your presence remains strong

“beating as if a thing apart”.


Dad’s was a wry sense of humour,

– and he saw the ironies and nonsense of life,


And, as  in uffish thought, he liked to read….

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves

Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:


And this was scarcely odd, because,

They’d eaten everyone.


How clear his eye that saw so well.



I look into the unfathomable dell

of Death. I close the lid.


Why the abhorrence?  Had he the Plague?

Just Death, the obscenity, of which all are afraid.


How fine his forehead that held so much.

That beautiful forehead that reflected the sun.


Escape.  Will I find … God?

But answer came there none.


It all seems a bit like Gulliver’s Travels

Where the strangest of mysteries they tried to unravel.

It’s a very weird place, here, down by the sea,

It helps to be nuts, as I think you’ll agree.


Father William

Accept our love, and

Rest in Peace.

–from Peter Dall