[For John Adie on the day of his funeral]
I knew just a small part
Of this clever man, John,
My friend’s Dad – whose stories
Most always outshone,
The books that I read or the films that I saw
For him, real life seldom seemed like a chore.
He was full of adventure and fun and ideas,
Those were our ‘Swallows and Amazons’ years.
We built houses in treetops
And fires, so tall
We picked mussels
Made road trips
And sometimes, built walls!
Whatever we did, it came with John’s smile,
( though homework reminders came after a while…)
All this time, whilst we built and we climbed and we walked,
There was one thing of which my friend’s Dad NEVER talked.
His life as James Bond – a conclusion we’d drawn
Of his job he would not share, his secrecy sworn,
So in our heads at least, this man John, was a James
And a hero and genius, winner of games.
Of course he was all of those things every day,
In his role as a Dad always happy to play,
Or to push, when you needed it,
And on all things he’d guide.
And watching his family filled him with pride
When Sarah was fencing, his hands would twitch too,
Sarah, I loved how your Dad looked at you.
A remarkable man,
Of whom I knew only part,
But enough to see greatness,
And a beautiful heart.