EduTech Research Project
The Brandon University Tribute Series
The Unreleased Files of
Robert W. Brockway, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus of Religion
Brandon University, Brandon, Manitoba, Canada
Original poetry with accompanying photos and art
from the Brockway archive
THOSE WHO STILL REMEMBER
Wellesley Community Universalist Church
Together: Robert and Katie
There's that wall, that damned steel wall.
The light is flickering dimly in the dark.
The dark is deeper than the light.
Can't we make it flare up briefly?
There's so little time.
In a moment we both will be gone,
and it will be too late.
I'll find a blow torch
Blast a little hole.
Then, however dimly and briefly,
I'll glimpse your face and hear your voice.
I'll listen if you talk to me,
Tell me how you feel, what you think,
What you love, what you fear.
Will you hear me, too?
It might fail.
But, again, maybe not.
Wait long enough
It will happen to you, too.
It's not death, I mean,
At least not exactly.
It's the partial death
When you've lost anticipation;
You've a Cessna on order
And you're not even thrilled.
There's no hump.
The airplane, think of that?
At twenty-four I'd been excited,
But now, at forty-one
Who'm I kidding?
Look at that young pair,
The boy with his arm round her shoulder.
I remember how that was;
Sure, I was young once,
I played ball a lot,
Knocked around in the bush.
But now I'm forty-one
And the fun's all gone.
I could do it all now,
But it was different then.
I had those humps.
Now one year's like another,
I wish I knew what it was.
I wish I had it now.
"And he and his kind will remain alive until night comes to all those
who fought and still remember the war in the Pacific."
Bruce Bahrenburg, The Pacific Then and Now
I saw the bombers, red suns
Someday I won't have to go, I told myself.
She won't be watching
For me at the window.
Someone else will have her room,
Her place at the table,
Her old black coat,
And wear her dresses.
I won't have to go
And wish I could.
"Abraham breathed his last and died in a good old age,
an old man full of years, and
was gathered to his fathers."(Gen.25:8)
Gambol and roll little one;
Gambol and roll in your dreams;
Blind brown eyes no longer see;
Muzzle so grey, and frame so fragile.
Gambol and roll like you did long ago
In the rich, deep grass of Bell Green.
Our love, follow your dreams,
Into the dark night.
Gambol and roll,
Sleep, dream, and so goodnight.
Go ahead, laugh.
How daft to love a skunk.
But I do and he's done.
He won't lie in my lap again,
Contented and asleep.
No more stiff-legged walk,
No tail curled high at the tip.
Goodbye, little one.
You were my very special joy,
My funny little furry friend
Who used to find sunspots on the rug
And turtle out with tiny legs outstretched.
I won't forget my clownish, merry elf,
Goodnight, sleep tight, my little one,
By the fence, beneath the trees,
Lies the little grave.
The autumn leaves fall over it, golden and brown.
And soon comes the snow.
Grief runs out,
Memories block or fade,
And either way it's much the same.
There's duty, work,
The things that must be done.
Time doesn't heal.
Something will be left
Something old and langorous,
Something hateful progress
Forgot or passed by.
I'll search till I find it,
Some quiet place forgotten,
A stretch of lonely strand
White in the moonlight,
And stroll alone in starlight
Yearning for the past.
My old friend who crossed the seas with me and back again.
We were always different, you and I.
What I love you loathe; what thrills you is
ennui to me.
Not the same loves, not the same hates
not the same dreams.
But isn't that the way with old friends?
I could go. Yes, I could go and start life anew.
And being me, and stubborn, I'd like as not succeed.
But who am I deceiving?
That quarter century'd be there.
And sometimes in the night I'd hear you call
Save your breath,
I've no taste for philosophy.
You're just saying "nonsense!"
When you say love's understood,
It need never be shown.
For to me,
Sceptic that I am,
There's nothing in this whole wide world
That can be taken in silence.
To me there is nothing
That is just understood.
So if it's love unrnanifest
It's nothing to me,
Nothing at all.
The highway leads down,
Down past the Mall,
And on to the graveyard
Where someday my ashes will lie,
And Kate's beside me.
I haven't come to terms with it,
Being wholly unresigned,
For though life's hard
And full of disappointment,
Someone else will have this house,
Cars will cruise the road to Boissevain,
A friend or two will briefly recall,
Perhaps they'll laugh at me a bit,
My postures, funny hats.
And then, in time,
I'll be no more at all,
And life will go on
As if I'd never lived.
The Wellesley Community Universalist Church
Love is the doctrine of our church,
The quest for truth is its sacrament,
And service is its prayer;
To dwell together in peace,
To seek knowledge in freedom,
To serve mankind in fellowship.
Together: Robert and Katie
Photo Research, Transcription and Webpage Design by
William G. Hillman
Assistant Professor ~ Brandon University
Text compilation and supplementary notes by
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