Canberra Modern Mates are missed already

Canberra Modern Mates are missed already


A poem for mates who lived their lives full of daring, caring and great deeds.

Canberra Modern Mates

Today I learned I’ve lost five mates in eight months

They’re dropping like flies, including Bruce …

And Alan, Peter, Bill and now Bob … all gone … wow!

Who’s going to understand me from now …?

Who’s left to look at in silence?

As we shake our heads and claim – “nonsense!”

Just like that Turkish Lone Pine tree

What varsity types are thinking-feeling, just like me?


I play Irish music – U2 — crank it up – till my ears hurt

Cranking up sound to express my feelings of hurt

That my mates from the older days have gone

They have literally (100 per cent) just hit the dirt.


Missing you already, I miss the group of ol’ blue eyes, and

That look, that grin, that shake of the head

Collectively it told me my mates were not dead

But now some are. Now it’s just me and geo- Fred.


So, Fred, keep hanging in there, shuffling that contractor’s sod

So that you and me can share a tea and a colleague’s nod

To the old days, when we pushed pens and paper

In office blocks, full of Grandpas and fresh-mint Maters

In grey cardigans, body shirts and safari suits

Who thought Skyhooks and Sherbet were the next best groups

To the Beatles and Rolling Stones, wearing tweeds and boots.

Orange Sky Laundry






Canberra Moderns, that’s us, we worked to earn–

Father and my work mates are forever young, forever mod-ern.

Dressed up to reminisce, play music and discuss

When the Uni quad will be littered again with dross

Just like scholarly tomes we read in 1992-93

When we were each younger, solvent, healthy and free.






RIP x 5.

21 May 2019
Poem text copyright Fiona Rothchilds 2019.
Photographic images copyright Fiona Rothchilds 2019.



Comments are closed.

Sign in
Forgot password?
Sign up

(*) Required fields

I agree with OptimaSales Terms & Privacy Policy