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Poetry Magnum Opus

My Uncle Jack (biographical poem)

Frank E Gibbard

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Frank E Gibbard



I have revised this from some years back and may have introduced some of you old PC users to my Uncle's story. This linked filmed documentary includes an interview at a dogtrack with 2 brothers, I'm seen briefly (warning/alert!) but my comments were cut out of the production as often happens I hear


My late uncle was a heavyweight fighter

a dark haired hunk touching fame in his

time, me his nephew of another hue and

in terms of world impact extremely lighter

than he with whom I’m genetically linked.


We could not be more unlike, me being

shorter, Jack was a towering six feet five

of raw Irish power and brawn to be alive.

I a generation apart and a born pacifist

wtho never took a punch or lifted a fist

to anyone, like to fight for my principles

with strength of word not driven indeed

by need to take up arms like Uncle Jack

who migrated from Ireland way way back

from poverty like so many a young lad

joining the Army the only job to be had

that meant betterment, but a life abroad.


The narrow hop to England across the

heaving Irish Sea to his stopping place

a stepping and a skipping stone, a toss

toward that future built of gain and loss.

For wasn't London city paved with gold?

Even more by Irish when truth was told.

The place his new manager reckoned

this aspiring boxing champ had to be so

buying him out of the Army, Jack was free;

The Welsh guard took up another guard

a profession dames and fortune beckoned.


I met Jack a few times only as a family mourner

stood this giant in our wee cramped Ealing room

even then not pushed into background or corner.

Above a wake of voices his old tenor could boom

sure he'd take a drop of what would seal his doom.

He'd proffer his hand more a sort of stupendous paw

the biggest I ever saw, with a grip like a lobster's claw.

I vividly remember at Dad's funeral his reach and hug

encircling us, me and my three not lightweight brothers,

we all enclosed as if by a bear by this once mighty lug,

him saying as sober as you like “boys look after mother.”


(to be cont'd too much for one sitting I think, part 2 to come) thanks for reading so far, this personal saga. Frank.

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Frank E Gibbard

Spent a fascinating hour here Frank. Thanks for sharing. B.

ThanksB for engaging and looking at the offering(s) dedicated to a special (if certainly flawed - who isn't?) man.

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