Tag Archives: #ForBetterorWorse

Campbell, Rolf: Scotian Poet

Rolf Campbell: stolen from his facebook page
Rolf Campbell: stolen from his facebook page

My very good friend Rolf Campbell happens to live a ways away from Norway, just across the pond in Scotland. Or as he might say it:

In a place I have loved all my lifetime;
In Auchmithie I wish to remain
Until the wheel turns its full circle,
Until I’m reborn once again.

When I’m Gone: From the Heart

As some of you might know, poetry is not my forte because so many poets speak over the head of my autism. But Rolf Campbell speaks to my heart. Except maybe when he extolls his favorite rugby team 😉 in Always An Arab from his For Better or Worse collection.

He has made me laugh, brought forth my tears and caused me to sit quietly afterwards – my mind finally empty of thought. Some of his poetry is painful, such as Rebecca’s Song in From the Heart. Rebecca’s pain clung to my heart and was the poem that caused my thoughts to flee.

Mary’s Wish made me snort with laughter. Cross-communication or misunderstandings arise from the smallest comments and can bring about interesting experiences. She is not in any of his collections on his web-site.

On Rolf’s website you will find examples from each of his collections. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

Mr. Campbell also has a facebook page.

I just discovered (22 jan 2019) that Mr. Campbell just died. In homage to his memory, here is the complete version of the above quote:

When I’m Gone

It’s important folk think on their ending,
And tell other friends of their choice
To be buried, cremated – whatever –
Leave no doubts, let them all hear your voice.
For myself, I would wish for cremation,
But no garden remembrance for me:
Instead, my remains should be scattered
From the cliffs, high above the North Sea,
In a place I have loved all my lifetime;
In Auchmithie I wish to remain
Until the wheel turns its full circle,
Until I’m reborn once again.

My reason’s threefold for my choosing,
For a cemetery holds no appeal.
How morbid, depressing and sterile,
Forgotten loved ones, it seems so unreal
With graves overgrown and neglected
And dead flowers ranked on each side;
I’d rather folk gazed on the ocean
And remembered my friendship with pride.
Have a meal, raise a glass to memory,
Maybe walk on the beach for a while;
Save your tears for the living who suffer
And remember my life with a smile.

I’ve always been proud of my country,
Loved Scotland with all of my heart.
Every atom’s a product of Scotland
From my home my remains shouldn’t part.
And when all that’s left are the ashes,
If everything goes as I planned,
Let the sea winds disperse them through Angus;
My remains, give back the life to the land.
Fertilise all that grows in Glen Isla,
And nourish the berries and fields,
Repay my debt to Caledonia,
Participate in future yields.

While my last reason’s really quite silly,
I’ve never done things by a half.
Even now I imagine the mourners,
For I’ve always been fond of a laugh.
As the winds that blow up from the harbour
Carry what’s left in their wake,
I can picture folk diving for cover,
Hear the voices that shout “Heaven’s Sake!”
And while at the end I’ve departed,
I enjoyed all my days, foul or fair,
Though memories may not long linger,
You’ll not get me out of your hair.

Rolf Campbell (1964-2019)