Friday, November 26, 2010

A Man for All Seasons

Occasionally, I will read a particularly inspiring piece of literature I enjoy sharing with others. This latest poetic piece was presented to me in a recent e-mail discussion with Jerry Johnson at Jerry enjoys all out-of-door activities and his poetry draws upon his vivid memories and experiences in the serene areas of rural New England. He additionally shares my passion for reading and the writings of Maine author Bill Geagan. The following poem was written for his father, who had a passion for the outdoors and loved hunting and fishing. For me, the poem stirred fond recollections of time spent with my own father and the memories we have shared in the wood and on the waters. Please enjoy Jerry’s inspirational work!

A Man for All Seasons
for C. Russell Johnson
Here's to the man, where do we start …
to show all he did,
to measure his heart …
So let us begin and the best that we can
tell a little about this man among men.

Remember the past, the trips to the Cape,
swimming the ocean and mackerel fresh-baked,
and journeys to Tamworth,
up there on Great Hill,
fishing the Bearcamp
and Swift River’s chill.

Our travels were many, he always made time
to take us all fishing and bring tackle and line.
To pass down his wisdom,
the way did he show
to venture afield with shotgun and bow.

His love for the theater, his gift for the script,
directing his actors
or playing his bit,
gave us laughter and meaningful tears,
When the curtain was drawn,
thunderous cheers!

In business, a leader, its managing pulse,
he led by example and ran a smooth house.
He solved all the problems
and kept them in shock
how he bonded his workers and toiled ’round the clock.

His gift with a saw,
hammer and plane,
formed pieces of craft
from his hands deep in pain –
at the homes of his sons, his work was precise
and the legacy he left came without price.

His farm in Vermont, for all friends to share,
was furnished with love, many felt his care –
at that beautiful farmstead,
bucolic and serene,
in the green mountain hillsides,
reflecting his dream.

And he loved all creatures
and natural things,
he appreciated nature
and the splendor she brings.

He knew how to put it all down with his pen,
reflecting his views and those of real men.
He grasped when it was timely
to cut through the crap,
to weed out the fiction
and lay down the fact.
He was there when you needed him,
he would answer your call –
no problem was too big,
nor was it too small.

So, here's to the man, the leader of the clan,
I want you to know that I am your fan,
For all you have taught me,
for all you have done,
just want you to know
I'm glad I'm your son.

Jerry Johnson

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