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Saturday 23 June 2012

A lesson from dad.

Asleep last night. Small hours
and walking down the fairway,
father at my side. The sixteenth tee -
he having driven off a treat.

I see him speaking
in the silent film
which this dream is. He's asking me
how far to reach the green.

I have it written down. A map.
I calculate. Nine hundred yards,
I mime. Maybe
he'll understand.

He's asking for a club.
I cannot hear, but know
from here he'd take a wedge - but maybe
not in such a wind! Less loft, I think

and pass a club I have not seen before.
The blade less angled.
Dad seems pleased
and takes his stance.

The ball addressed,
he loses twenty years.
Younger now, he swings the club
and drops the ball mid-green.

There comes a burst 
of clapping from
the crowd buoyed up 
in seats beyond the green.

But now the new club -
the one unknown to me,
unnumbered and untried -
breaks clean in  half

and we are back
in dad's new garden shed - the one
he built himself when he retired -
explaining as he works

how to replace a broken shaft.
Except, I cannot hear,
the dream still has no sound.
I go on watching him

and find myself remembering
the first time I looked on
and knew instinctively
we had no need of words.


Brian Miller said...

brilliant closure man....we dont need words...i feel much the same at times...learned golf from my dad as well...used to live near a par 3 course and we would go play....

Daydreamertoo said...

Aww... this is so lovely. It seems you and your dad had a great relationship. What a wonderful dream.
Great writing Dave.

Jinksy said...

If only all dreams could be a fruitful...

Dulce said...

amazing memory of those things we wish could stay and be for a bit longer--- as long as they are in our memory box and we can write about it and share it with other gays... it's a dream come true.

Ygraine said...

Dave, that is so beautiful!
Having no need for words implies a state of total understanding between two people - true intimacy.

What a wonderful dream.

ds said...

Beautiful. To be in a place where no words are needed...ahh..Thank you, sir.

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

Vivid and intense. Like those dreams that one feels more real than reality itself.

Mary said...

I enjoyed this, Dave. People with whom one can be comfortable without the need for words are treasures. You and your dad obviously had such a relationship!

Carl said...

Wonderful memory and wonderful to realize words not needed.

Claudia said...

oh wow..this is beautiful dave...such closeness..yeah..guess then it really needs no words..

haricot said...

He at last reached green after twenty years has passed? He did it for making him comfort!

A Cuban In London said...

"and find myself remembering
the first time I looked on
and knew instinctively
we had no need of words."

There was a little lump in my throat as I neared the ending. I guess we all remember our dads in different ways and I wish I'd had no need of words with mine, too. He still texts me from Cuba, though. :-)

Greetings from London.

Dave King said...

Thanks all

Life has just happened again, and it seems I don't have time to answer all individually, as I had intended. Thank you all, though - as always - for your detailed and kind replies. It is great to have such response.

This was an actual dream and, as it happens, it was - or so I believe - a dream based on an actual event. So dream and reality are maybe mixed in the poem.

Dad was a professional golfer - professional because he was a golf club maker (for Spaldings) and so could not play in amateur tournaments. This was difficult for him for he could only play against professionals who were out on the course playing day in and day out. I occasionally caddied for him - as here. The occasion on which this is based was the last one on which I caddied and the last tornament in which he played. He had been retired a good few years. The tournament took place on a links (sea-side) course -always unforgiving - and the weather was atrocious (which didn't figure in the dream). It was physically difficult for him even to get round.

A special thank you to those who have spoken kindly about our relationship. It must have been so from early on but was not apparent then. We used to argue a lot, being - probably - too alike. The feeling of which I speak in the poem manifested itself first when he was called up during the war, and again, later, when I married and moved out. We became very close then.

Janine Bollée said...

You had me worried there with the 900 yard wedge idea, and then it unfolded into this fine slideshow of images that we call dreams.Enviable togetherness of the generations.

JeannetteLS said...

The poem/dream unfolded so well, revealing your relationship in those last lines ...

Just so precise. I imagine that you work hard on your poetry, but like so many outstanding poets, the result feels so effortless and spare.

I have to move on, so it will take me a long time to catch up on your poetry. It will be a fine hour when I do, though.