I took it for granted my father loved me. In my family we didn’t run around every day saying, “I love you.” He showed his love in the caring ways he looked after his family, Mum, me, my brother and sisters. As a kid, I knew him as my handsome, hardworking Dad. Growing up, gaining his approval mattered to me. I wondered about what my Dad thought about me and hoped he would be proud of me one day. As an adult, I have often reflected: did I ever come to know him as a person in his own right?
My Dad, Bruce Moss, was cut from a different cloth to the average Aussie man of his day. While he had an occasional beer and followed the cricket and tennis, his passion was English literature, particularly the plays and poems of William Shakespeare. Beneath his paternal authority, my siblings and I detected an air of mystery and a reserve in our father. We were aware there were parts of him he did not reveal to us and probably not to anyone. These 'mysteries' were not anything bad or wrong. It was a subtle impression which came from his liking for spending quiet times reading and writing at his desk.
We wanted to know ‘Did he believe in God?’ ‘Was Heaven an actual place?’ ‘How do you get to Heaven?’ When we asked him these deeply personal questions, Dad would look a little uncomfortable and avoided answering us, often changing the subject. He would never give a categorical ‘Yes’ or ‘No.’ Was he a Christian? He certainly behaved as if he was a Christian. He was kind, forgiving and tolerant of our flaws and mishaps which, in my case, were frequent.
When he retired in his late fifties, Dad went to University and studied for his Arts Degree in English literature and the Classics. He didn’t seem to mind being the knowledgeable old fellow in the tutorial groups of young undergraduates. Post-retirement, he also took up writing poetry. He never fancied himself as a great poet, as he had read all the great poets of the English language and he probably knew too much about what greatness entails. He wrote humbly about his grandchildren, their births and birthdays, he wrote about his WW2 experiences, he wrote about political figures, and he also wrote about poetry and music.
After Dad’s passing in 2008, I collected his poems which were loosely contained in an old manila folder in his rackety filing cabinet. I edited them and organised them under headings, typed them into a Word document and bound them into a clear-cover folder at Officeworks. I made copies for my siblings who were chuffed to see Dad’s poems together. But it wasn’t until I recently edited and published Dad’s poems as a book ‘An Uncommon Man,’ that I read his poems more closely. Within them, I did not find an absolute assurance that he believed in God but I did find God in many of his poems. What follows is one example, his poem in the sonnet form, 'The Mustard Seed,':
A microscopic speck in space
Whereon dwells the human race
Revolves around a burning sun
Creating day and night, and everyone
Lives and dies in this milieu
Powerless any thing to do
To affect or change the course
Of time and fate; inscrutable the source
of creation, well-spring of being.
Humanity is limited to seeing
Mysterious miracles all around
In apparent order bound.
Mankind the mustard seed of faith must sow
That therefrom the kingdom of heaven may grow.
I think Dad would be delighted to see his poems published in a book. He is now one of a multitude of authors published on Amazon. Click here for a look.
For me, it has been a richly rewarding experience to edit and publish my father’s poetry. I felt close to him again as you do when you read someone’s heartfelt words and hear their ‘voice’ in your ear.
Thanks for reading! I invite you to leave your comments below.
Doing the write thing (and lovin' it!) : -)
Managing Editor and Publisher
LLOYD MOSS publishing
Telephone/Text 0421 998749
Are you interested in legacy publishing? Do you wish to make your memories tangible with words or the words of someone who has passed? Legacy publishing is not just one form of writing. It can be fiction or non-fiction. It might be poetry, equally it might be a family history (whether complete or not), maybe it is a memoir, or short stories or letters and documents, a Masters or PhD thesis.
Drop Lynne a line today about your ideas and queries on legacy publishing.