Dear friends: -
How sad it is to be writing in the past tense in relation to our dear friend and mentor - Roy Douglas Kneale (RDK)
To all who knew him, he was the finest of Men.
A Man of extraordinary talent who was more than generous with his time.
As a Father, no more needs to be said; other than his Son Ralph was only too willing to provide the comfort and care he so richly deserved.
As a Poet, it is no exaggeration to say he stands comparison with any of the true greats in literature.
His vast life experience was filled with travel, adventure, relationships, and the tragedy of War; yet his heart remained full of romance.
It was this aspect of his persona which we have come to know and love in his written work on VN.
When either delivering a graveside eulogy or relating a romantic tryst, his love of the 'fairer sex' was always to the fore (Bless him).
Roy once made an observation about a (very rare) pearl I delivered in relation to a Sonnet of mine; if memory serves, I said "Imagination makes for a fine travelling companion."
This seemed to resonate with him on many levels.
I can't tell you how 'chuffed' I was that he deemed it worthy of comment. :)
When the Good Lord asks our friend to give account of his life on this Earth, He is in for a real treat.
It will be a no holds barred affair, because our friend could be brutally honest when in 'self-assessment mode' and I know he still harboured questions of his own (in relation to what lies ahead)
Whatever he divulges we can be sure of one thing, it will be delivered with the mastery of one who is well practiced in the art of oratory.
Some of you may be unaware of our friend's background, which included being a Preacher (for his sins). Roy's words not mine.:)
If nothing else, this should equate to more time being allowed in yon Celestial pulpit.
Recent events now mean our ongoing tribute to Roy has
become somewhat of a Memorial tribute to his Life and Wonderful work.
I am sure our friend would wish it to be more of a Celebration of his time spent with his extended Family VN.
It is our intention (as his loyal Musketeers) to collect all Poems and responses related to the above.
They will then be presented to Roy's dear Son Ralph at some future date.
As his extended Family we have so many things to thank Roy for, we trust the Good Lord will bear this in mind and watch over him always.
On behalf of my Brother Musketeers, we doff our feathered hats and raise our swords in salute to a Life we were so fortunate to have shared. /|\
"All for Thee" (for Roy)
Our Liege Lord ailed, yet steadfast held to cause
Of spreading word (in free verse and thru rhyme)
In tune with self, whilst scribing without flaws
Inviting all to walk with him through time
Twas ‘Stratford Bard’ (in youth) his quill engaged
Such composition none could scarce believe
Held wisdom claimed young RDK’s upstaged
(Opinion he would ne’er presume nor breathe)
We ‘Men–at–Arms’ now celebrate his lead
By keeping 'maidens fair' all safe from harm
'Old standards' he espoused thru work and deed
Upholding ways of 'Chivalry and Charm’
No finer troubadour hath walked this land
To all, he was the 'One' in ‘Brothers Band’
Our Liege Lord, Friend and Brother -
Sir Roy Douglas Kneale