Rick Hardman was one of the first people I met at the Unitarian Fellowship when I moved to Kelowna, British Columbia, in 2005. He was full of life and fun and was one of the most active volunteers in the group. He was also a talented poet, who knew how to turn a phrase so it would burrow into our hearts or make us laugh.
Then he suffered a stroke. We watched him waste away before our eyes. He dropped so many sizes we feared he was on his way to a land where no one wanted to follow.
Gradually he worked his way out of the stillness, his keen observations and sly sense of humour intact. He sent me this poem today. I laughed out loud and asked him to share it here.
Welcome back, Rick.
The hornets have always lived in my head,
Now however, they are permanently abuzz.
That seemed to start with a hemiplegia and an aphasia in the form of a stroke
Which gave their hive a vicious kick
They’re vigilant now for any perceived rudeness, inconsideration, or tardiness of service.
They’ll take flight at the mildest offence
And they’ve found a route from inner cranium to the tip of my tongue
Where they launch themselves with stingers held aloft, aimed for any exposed tenderloin
To their credit, they don’t discriminate, being unitarian in that way. All are fair game to their
Having hornets in your head is not necessarily a bad thing
If one aspires to join the Curmudgeon’s Guild, it is considered an asset.
Along the lines of ”sharp tongued” and pointed wit.
Oscar Wilde comes to mind.
©2011 Rick Hardman