The theme of NPD is heroes and this morning on BBC Radio Jersey I read a poem I wrote about one of my local heroes, Gerard Le Claire. Several listeners have asked to read it, so here it is:
In Memory of Gerard Le Claire
He tried so hard to look older:
glasses, goatee, gruelling missions
to the world’s end on shoestring budgets;
fresh-faced for all his pains, as if some shaman
had slipped him an elixir, at lectures
they would think a schoolboy had come to the dais.
Imagine him at sixty, walking the shoreline
between South Hill and the Dicq,
with crows’ feet, at last, and his hair silver!
Loving this place, he loved the world more -
‘The local is global’ - et cetera:
rivers in the wrong places,
downpours drumming on the sea,
the earth crazed like old china …
‘We must meet up for a beer,’ he’d say,
pumping my hand, and we had years to arrange it:
this table with its view of the sea,
a cargo ship crossing St Aubin’s Bay,
and two glasses, one empty, the other full.