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James Ernest Ellis

By Ashleylister @ashleylister

James Ernest Ellis passed away on 25th February 2013. He was 88 years old.  Not a bad innings for someone who had seen his best friends killed on the battlefield in Burma and suspected he might be next.  For a man whose wicked sense of humor frequently landed him in trouble with members of the opposite sex, it is even more impressive.  
If there's one thing you could say for certain about Jim, it's that he walked his own path through life.  Confident, suave and charming, he cut a dashing figure in the Oulton Broad area of Norfolk where he lived for most of his life.  Never afraid to air an opinion, and a teller of incredibly inappropriate stories at family gatherings, his voice was often heard above the crowd. 
I don't think I would dare to walk in his footsteps.  He's an almost impossible man to follow.  He was my grandad and we bury him tomorrow at Carleton Cemetery.  This is the elegy I have written for the service. 
Jim Lad
Sunlight spins silken threads round trees A blackbird’s matins wake the earthBright stems of pearls, dawn’s tears, disperseA great man sleeps, his bones at ease
Big bear whose words dripped honey-charmSilk tie, cuff-links, bright gleaming shoesSleek, Brylcreemed curls, spiced-musk infusedWhite trilby crown for August’s warmth
Jambo Bwana, Jambo BibiYoung Jim heard those Kenyan lionsMixed with Ethiopian scions Lank giraffes and baobab trees
Friendships forged and friendships renderedHeat of gunfire’s horror brandedTravel as command demandedSwamp child stranded, Jim Lad tended
Back home on Nelson’s Norfolk BroadsGlass landscape nursed Jim’s coastal flockBy line or net, on bridge or dockA champion catch, the gift of cod
About the town, a man of noteTall tales from travel told to allLoud lion’s roar, East England drawlWun cap or tay plays Ma’am – unquote  A rainbow flame for butterfliesHis garden home to duck and roseGood neighbour, sharing fact and proseJim’s travel made him worldly-wise
Sunlight unwraps her fragile threadsDusk’s murmured lullabies enticeBlackbird’s nocturne paints dark the skiesThe traveler makes for his bed
Gin-rummy lover’s hand is playedHis deck shuffled and dealt to thoseWho wish him long and sweet reposeOur King of Diamonds, gently laid.
James Ernest Ellis

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