We Won’t See His Like
John Dengate’s dead, that grand old man,
With a wit like a welder’s torch,
Who rhymes as only the Dengate can,
With wicked invective to scorch –
the pompous, the liar, the political boss,
The cheat, the vindictive and vain,
And some have said as they mourned for his loss,
“We will never see his like again.”
John Dengate learned, John Dengate read
He mastered the writer’s craft,
He listened till language rang in his head,
Told stories and people laughed.
Lawson, Paterson, Judith Wright,
Behan, Ogilvy too,
Shaped his wisdom and shed their light,
Till his writing was forceful and true.
We stand on the shoulders of giants they say,
John Dengate chose his giants well,
But who dares to say that we won’t see his like?
Only the future can tell,
For Dengate’s a giant, with giants he stands,
His writing’s out there to be heard,
And someone will treasure the works of his hands,
And learn of his skills with the word.
The world will again hear the true Dengate rhymes,
John’s heritage makes that quite sure,
The ideas may differ in these changing times,
But his wit and his wisdom endure.
Someone will be there to take up the blade,
Who’s learned well from that incisive pen,
Who’s made of the flame of which Dengate was made,
Then we’ll hear from John Dengate again.
John Warner, September 2013