Wednesday, 3 October 2018

Norman's birthday. A king-sized quilt of a blogpost with a hitherto unpublished poem by him.

Today would have been Norman's 69th birthday. I have put together this blog post for the sake of all who appreciated him and who wish to continue to honour his memory - hopefully smiles will break through any tears on your faces.
I loved to spoil him, I loved to be his wife, it was one of the most fulfilling tasks life ever asked of me.
I am sad not to be able to be his wife anymore, but I am grateful for the few years we were given.
He treated me well; he always put my and others' well-being before his own - to a fault; he shouldered the loads life and, indeed, others unfairly put on him; he never blamed me or others for his faults; his dearest wish was to be a decent human being. He showed me, by living them, the qualities it takes to make a true man. I am so very lucky that he shared himself with me to the extent that he did.

All photos are taken by me, with the exception of the photo of Norman at the Ecca reading, which was taken by Lara Kirsten.

3.10.2012 Norman on his 63rd birthday. Picnic in the Arboretum, Hogsback.

3.10.2012 At The Bluff, The Edge, Hogsback, with his friend John van Wyngaard 

3.10.213 Norman at 64, a wild joyride with me on the back of 'The Red Devil' on the contour path of Hog 1.
As far as I know, this was his favourite photo of himself.

A deeply unspoiled man suspicious of too much comfort, Norman enjoyed the cultural wealth I brought into his life. 

3.10.2014 Norman reads from 'This Questioning Terrain', the then newest Ecca Poets book. The Rose Theatre, Hogsback.
3.10.2015 Norman on his 66th birthday

3.10.2015 He loves his shirt. Birthday dinner at The Edge Restaurant, Hogsback.
The following poem demonstrates the kind of man Norman was - please read it not so much for what he is saying about me, but for what it shows you about him - how he enjoys my wifely fuss and giving, because he sees it gives me joy!

To be herself

You painted a splendid Sunbird
on a shirt
for me

- made me cakes,
laid out a sumptuous picnic under a tree;

you're standing me dinner
with fine champagne and crisp beer:
my birthday

- that you celebrate
with all the radiance of giving
your joyous heart

to be

- Norman Morrissey, 3/10/2015

Norman on his 67th with the shirt that marked the launch of the Ecca book that year, 'Gold in Spring'.


  1. Beautiful Silke (",) Thanks for sharing your thoughts and feelings and those photographs. Nice to see some of the old man I've never seen before. "...he never blamed me, or others for his faults; his deepest wish was to be a decent human being", had me in tears. For all those faults, there was much much good (",)

  2. Oh, Bonnie, what a reward your response is to me, thank you so much. (By the way, I'm responding from my phone, which doesn't know this blogsite is mine, and I haven't figured out a way to make it know - so I'm not altogether sure how I'll show up here. Be that as it may, this is me, I precede mechanical technology.) Yes - he never really had an ambition other than that, it was something we had in common. He was forever disappointed in himself, certainly when I knew him, for not living up to his own expectations. Which were unrealistically high. Though he never thought so, he kept aiming.