Posts Tagged ‘Gary Gates’

CONTEXT: February, 2011

Recently a colleague (Gary Gates) retired after working for the Gov for 39 years.

I was 3 when he started here… and I’m not a young guy.

Anyway, a couple of other co-workers, while planning a celebration for him, asked if I would be willing to write him a poem. They appealled to my ego (“we know how accomplished you are, so it would be a great honour…”), which will always work. Besides, I really like Gary. He was one of the better managers I have had here. He really seemed to want to help you out.

Still, I don’t really write the ‘what a great guy’ kind of poetry. I told them I would think about it and see what I could do. Inspiration hit and I wrote the poem below. I still wasn’t sure if that is what they wanted, but it went over pretty big.

I couldn’t actually go to the celebration, due to prior commitments, so I video taped it. It seemed to have gone over very well. (Gary’s wife asked for a copy of the video…)

Anyway… here it is:

    Fast Forward

We live our lives in fast forward
Scanning through as fast as we can
In order to find out
Who gets the ruby slippers
Or what is waiting at the
End of the rainbow.
We don our track shoes
As everybody wants to win
The human race,
To prove we aren’t
Just another rat
In a maze looking
For that big prize.
Sorry to get cheesy
But it amazes me
That once
Retirement meant
You were done.
A society deemed you
Superfluos – don’t let the
Door hit you on the way out!

Thankfully, things have changed.
Someone realized that
People are not defined
By their jobs
And work owes you,
You don’t owe it.
And there is a time
To shift from meetings
Of the board
To power chords
And from release worries
To fish stories.

“You should have seen the one…”

Because there is always another rainbow.
The race isn’t a sprint –
It’s a marathon
Where nobody wins or loses
And every stage is just
Prelude to the next.
You’ve earned your
‘Government of Canada’ merit badge
So it’s time to tackle
The next challenge.

Bob Dylan said, “You’re gonna
Have to serve somebody”
And maybe that’s true,
And he can sing it until his face is blue
But he’ll have to admit what I am saying to you,
From now on
You will be serving somebody
Who has earned it…


Next up for me is the Champion’s Cup this Sunday at the Rainbow Room. 16 competitors head-to-head, including all three members of the Copper Conundrum. (I hope we don’t face each other in the first round…)