Master Jack was old and grey; time had passed him by,
Wizened hands betrayed his age, but a glint lay in his eye;
Physique so very frail now, had fought a thousand ‘wars’,
Waiting now upon God’s will; Jack’s life had lost its cause.

The souls of those who’d mattered; were now long in their graves,
Fond memories of times gone by, crashed over him in waves.
His children had all forsaken him; forsaken him, every one;
Embarrassed by his manner, and the sharpness of his tongue,

Tears fell upon his trembling hands, as he gazed on them with love,
These hands had been God’s gift to him, from heaven up above;
Hands that blessed the Lord almighty; gave thanks for all their food,
Those hands had even built their home, beside the forest wood.

Hands carved their wooden furniture; and planted crops to sell,
When drought had struck the barren land, they dug for him a well,
Skilled hands had caught his children, emerging from the womb.
Seven boys, and three small girls; now adults in full bloom.

Gnarled hands from manual labor, digits enflamed and sore,
Busy hands made impotent; were functioning no more,
Spastic hands, arthritic hands; worked now ‘to the bone’,
Not one soul to help him farm; Master Jack prayed all alone.

“My Lord I have to thank you, for these two hands of mine,
The countless tasks accomplished, through your two gifts Divine”,
Calloused hands now pressed in prayer; “I wish new turf to roam”,
Soulful eyes glinted heavenward, “Please Lord… take me home”

Courtesy of…
Alf Hutchison

This poem is shared with Alf’s permission, I am enamoured by his poetry… oh just so good… one can picture the hands so well drawn by Alf’s Daughter.


54 thoughts on “MASTER JACK

  1. Exquisitely beautiful!! I stand in complete admiration of your friend and his daughter…both the picture and the words combine so powerfully. It brought tears to my eyes….thank you so much for sharing this with us. I am left in total wonderment….

  2. One cannot help but feel deeply compassionate reading this wonderful poem. The words and drawing say so much in so few lines.Thank you for sharing this with us. regards, Shelley

  3. The moving poems: Lest we forget Hunyani and The last flight of the Umniati by Alf Hutchison are now followed by Master Jack which tugs at the heart strings. The old man’s yearning for his eternal home after tireless years of toil on earth make us reflect on the meaning of life and death. Thanks for sharing Alf’s poem with us Bulldog.

  4. Absolutely brilliant…captured my interest from the very start and carried me all the way through. Though the words alone tell their own story and really need no assistance on their own, Fiona’s picture completes that emotion and the combination is truly award winning. Thank you for sharing!

    • It is a pleasure to share Alf’s poems.. I find him so good at it and knowing his background and how he started poetry so many years ago… they just seem to flow out of him… Thanks You Mrs.P.

  5. Thank you so much, Bulldog, for sharing this very special piece. He truly is very talented, as is his daughter! This poem blessed my heart.

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