So Tommy’s Gone

So Tommy’s Gone…

So Tommy’s gone. How sad the news. It seemed if any man
Could live forever running jumping bouncing Tommy can,
But no man can, of course, and yes, I know as much, I know,
But didn’t he put on the most amazing, mighty show?

I loved ol’ Tommy Hafey. How could anybody not?
Swimming in the ocean waves, or skipping on the spot.
No matter be it summer heat, or biting winter cold,
Tommy talked the talk, and walked the walk. Oh, he was bold.

Was there ever man more honest? Was there ever man more true?
The word “integrity”, it comes to mind. It ran him through.
He never bent his moral code to flatter, or to please.
I long ago forgave him that he didn’t say his ‘g’s.

It was ‘runnin’, never ‘running’; it was ‘kickin’, never ‘kicking’,
As his Tigers gave the other teams a comprehensive lickin’.
He taught his boys to play, and then he taught them how to coach
With his physical, no nonsense, simple, straight ahead approach.

God bless you, Tommy Hafey, you were really quite unique.
It’s tempting to dismiss you and to say you were a freak,
But you weren’t a freak. You just worked hard. You name will now live on.
Still, I struggle to believe it when I hear…that Tommy’s gone.

About Stephen Whiteside

Stephen Whiteside is primarily a writer of rhyming verse. He has been writing for over thirty years, and writes for both adults and children. Many of his poems have been published in magazines and anthologies, both in Australia and overseas, or won awards. His collection of rhyming verse for children, "'The Billy That Died With Its Boots On' and Other Australian Verse", was published by Walker Books in May 2014. Stephen performs regularly at folk festivals around the country - mostly in Victoria. He is also a great fan of the Australian poet C. J. Dennis. He is a foundation member of the C. J. Dennis Society, and is closely involved in the organisation of the annual Toolangi C. J. Dennis Poetry Festival. Stephen is a long-suffering Melbourne supporter.


  1. Andrew Starkie says

    I know Stephen, shouldn’t some people be allowed to live forever?

    A good man who kept life simple which is the key to it really.

  2. Great stuff Steve

  3. Thanks, Steve.

    Ah well, I guess it comes to us all one day, Andrew. He never lost sight of the basics, did he?

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