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The Man Who Spoke in Whispers

Andrew John Avatar    Block poet from commenting on your poetry

Below is the poem entitled The Man Who Spoke in Whispers which was written by poet Andrew John. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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The Man Who Spoke in Whispers

(for Jim Ducker)


The growth plundered your voice,
robbing it of tone; you spoke
in well-articulated whispers, inhaling
through that tube thing in your throat.

You shone, in spite of it all.
No self-pity, even near the end,
after years of speaking to us
in breaths the way you did –
yet you had a voice, old friend.

Always the bright guy at the bar,
you brought a twinkle
even to a whisper; a susurrus of wit
would penetrate the tedious tones
of those for whom EastEnders
and the latest from The X Factor
provided fodder for barroom babble.

Struggling to be heard but stubbornly
winning with smiles and quips,
you were never less than sparky
with your crackling one-liners
and the percussion of your Good Advice.

Quite suddenly you died;
thirteen months ago you died.
You would not wish me to reach
for a soppy synonym.
You did not pass away:
you died, you died, you died.

I handled your affairs –
so long ago, it seems;
but time and distance are
such fragile things, and grief
is no respecter of them:
whisper its name
and it will return to you.

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  1. Date: 2/1/2013 12:54:00 PM
    Sounds like you had the very best of a friend. Not every one is so lucky. You have paid him a fine tribute here.

    John Avatar Andrew John
    Date: 2/3/2013 3:06:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    Thanks, Donna. He could be a pain in the a at times, but generally a good old bloke who died at the age of 81 in December 2011, and I conducted his funeral at the crematorium because he didn't want a religious one (neither of us is a believer).