My Grandfather

My Grandfather

A Poem by Keith

Written for "A Tribute to our Parents/Grandparents" Contest (Tate Morgan) Thanks for the motivation Tate, been wanting to do this for a while.


The lines upon his thin weathered face

A roadmap of his hard life.

His formal education was brief

His mind was sharp as a knife.

But in bushmanship and parenthood

He was the top of the class,

Then from the college of real hard knocks

With straight honors he did pass.


His poker face gave nothing away

But with his eyes he smiled.

I saw it each time he greeted me

The love of his first grandchild.

He'd lift me high up into the air

And sat me on his shoulder.

Childhood memories ever more precious

The more that I grow older.


I Lived with him for several years

From near the age of seven.

Our hearts were laden with sorrow then,

My  mother gone to heaven.

For him the loss of his first born child

Maybe forged from grief our bond.

I felt that in my grandfathers house

Was where I truly belonged.


I followed his every single step

It just seemed so right somehow.

We split the kindling and lit the stove,

Gathered eggs and milked the cow.

Together we worked in his garden

Where he turned the sod with ease,

He grew rows and rows of vegetables

And we'd share those fresh picked peas.


When he spoke it was in a mumble

And he barely moved his lips.

But it paid to listen very hard

Coz his wit was dry as chips.

He'd often slip in a funny line

Without a break in his pace.

Like 'Cut a hole in the seat of your pants

To keep the flies off your face.'


He told you straight what was on his mind

No time for etiquette rules.

Social graces were never his strength

And he had no time for fools.

'I'm not going to her funeral',

One occasion he did shout.

'Best bury that old b***h facing down

To ensure that she can't scratch out.'


Still very close in my teenage years.

We'd talk the hours away.

I was always keen to learn from him

And about his Bushman's way.

He taught me as much as I could learn

And ignited my bushman's spark.

A crack shot with his trusty rifle

He usually found his mark.


Those memories of rabbit hunting

The wasted bullets were few.

If less rabbits got than bullets shot

He'd ask 'where's the other two?'

And if you went for that real long shot,

A mere spec  in your rifle sight.

He'd not give you credit for the kill

And just say it had 'died of fright'.


His front yard was always manicured,

Each plant grew how it was meant.

Lavender bush along every path

Filling the air with it's scent.

And still to this day the slightest whiff

Of lavender in the air,

I am taken right back to his front yard

And I'll see him standing there.


© 2013 Keith

My Review

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Very wonderful tribute. You are a blessed man. He sounds like the kind of man I wish more could be. I never was close to either of my grandparents or parents. They all passed when I was young. This poem helps me understand what a relationship like this could be.

Posted 10 Years Ago


10 Years Ago

Thanks again for your kind review (Mike is it?). Yes, indeed I was one of the lucky ones, I'm a gra.. read more
This wonderful, a great tribute to a man who sounds amazing.

Posted 10 Years Ago


10 Years Ago

Thanks OB, I appreciate you dropping in and leaving kind remarks.
I like your Grandfather. Remind of my grandfather. A wise man who wasted nothing and knew right from wrong. I like the description of the time with your grandfather and the things you learn. I like the ending. Good to remember the good people who honored us with their life with us. Thank you for the amazing poetry.

Posted 10 Years Ago


10 Years Ago

Thank you so much for your generous review Coyote. much appreciated.
This is a beautiful tribute to your grandfather. The love and respect shines through with your choice of words. Great rhythm and flow. Enjoyed very much!

Posted 10 Years Ago


10 Years Ago

Thank you Barbara, I appreciate you calling in.
well mate..I think maybe the wrong bloke won....This is quite awesome...OH HOW I HATE that word...Bloody great poem Keith

Posted 10 Years Ago


10 Years Ago

Thanks Doc. Actually we were the winners by fate well before this comp. We are among the lucky f.. read more
Dr. Wood ?

10 Years Ago

yeah...LUCKY is the word
thought i would stop in and return the gesture...this is gorgeously and sharply penned, with a tinge of humor which makes it perfect. impressive!

Posted 10 Years Ago


10 Years Ago

That you Quin, hearing that from a master of the craft means a lot.w
Wow, this reminded me of Grandfather. He was a lovely, loving guy. It made me tear up a bit. A very emotional write. I saw you came second? So congratulations.

Posted 10 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


10 Years Ago

Thank you for the kind words Lucy, glad you enjoyed. Accepted that friend request with pleasure.
What a great tale this was. I thank you for writing it specifically for my contest. And I congratulate you on your award.The flawless metered rhyme was superb.
'I'm not going to her funeral',
One occasion he did shout.
'Best bury that old b***h facing down
To ensure that she can't scratch out.'
This reminded me of my own grandfather when he would make such quips as " She'd give a dogs a*s heartburn". Thank you for entering
Tate Morgan

Posted 10 Years Ago

Tate Morgan

10 Years Ago

You do very well and get the concept as well as master the intricacies of the talent. Thank you for .. read more

10 Years Ago

Hearing that from you inspires me to push on, thanks Tate.
Tate Morgan

10 Years Ago

Great poets aren't born they are created from toil and sweat and swagger this piece contains all tho.. read more
Oh my this is wonderful Keith. I just love that fifth verse and so many of your lines and colloquialisms made me smile hugely.
An amazing tribute to your grandfather with images that bring tears and smiles as one reads.
I feel ýou' and the love you have for him woven delicately and with style in this poem.
What an awesome tribute!
Wonderful writing!

Posted 10 Years Ago


10 Years Ago

Thank you so much WW, those are memories from Ballarat where I spent many of my childhood year.

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33 Reviews
Shelved in 2 Libraries
Added on August 6, 2013
Last Updated on August 7, 2013
Tags: Grandfather, Bushman



Gippsland, Victoria, Australia

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