A mother of five she was, my Mum
Professional bottom wiper and nappy washer
Diagnostic expert, cook, stitcher and ruler of her domain
Laptop fingers beating in ¾ time on ivories or strings
With toes when young that ached to pointe
Could drive anything but a train and jumbo jet
A writer who could also talk underwater
Loved Kiwi’s, Aussies and Zhong Guo ren.
Christine Dalgliesh nee Stewart. 1946 and still going.
A prince among men he was, my Dad
A Solomon calmly presiding over still waters
A man’o’war Fijian style, wed for fifty-five years
His scientific mind leading his study of ant and galaxy
A maker of kites, billy carts, and fixer of cars
Who pounded pianos and caressed steel guitars – 40 love
Who diabetically gobbled ‘Wethers Original’ toffees
And Mum’s famous buns with the cherry on top.
A man of God. Frederick Stewart. 1913 – 1999.
A Lincolnshire lad he was, my Granddad
A labourer, farmer, with an adventurous heart
Over the seven seas the Hydapses brought him
Through Lyttleton, Canterbury to Taranaki
Building roads as newfangled motor cars appeared
Who witnessed the first aeroplane, first telephone and First World War
A belated husband and father of two
Who never refused a meal to a tramp at his ‘depression’ filled doorway.
A man of the earth. Fred Stewart. 1866 – 1936.
A rugged fisherman he was, my Great Granddad
At peace with the heart inside his salty skin
A mender of nets and a of sails
A reader of dawns and towering clouds
Guided by the sun and glittering diamond nights
Guarding the albatross on silken swells
Making safe haven through a furious storm
A calm man where panic could mean his life
A man of the sea. Henry Stewart. 1832 – 1904.