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My Dad Nab by Mara Kalsi

Grief is a physical and emotional heart break because death is finite and unfixable. However, translating this grief into beautiful memories of my father is what I resonate with in the poem dealing with this grief. I couldn’t sleep one night and wrote this at 2am in the morning. I later read this out loud at his funeral. For me, this was my outlet about everything I felt in that moment. For all those that have lost loved ones, I hope some of you may take comfort in the knowledge that memories of them are never lost; I encapsulate this in the poem “My Dad Nab”.



I loved when you walked and held me on your shoulders,

I’m sorry if my legs felt like bony, heavy boulders.

But it was a charm, when you held my hand

You protected me Dad, I fully understand.

I stand on the bridges of memories you built,

You’re a proud engineer like a Scot to a kilt.

Your red toolbox, your drawings and your wonderful designs,

They’ll map out forever in our developing minds.

You read so much, you loved all books,

But none were as great as your charming looks.

The Jaws ride wasn’t fun, the metal shark head made me run,

But we weren’t done

I grabbed onto you like a leech in the pool under the sun.

You’re intelligent, you’re witty, you’re wonderful and wise,

You laugh and your Dad jokes are a bad disguise

Because what can’t compare, even something new,

like Dr Seuss said, there is no one youer than you.

Stars in the sky, sport in your feet,

You loved organising rower times on your excel spreadsheet.

Time never ends, it only continues

You hated bad politicians but loved the political ruse.

Your great big smile, your energy and fabulous fun

We’ll make sure that all of it is never done.

Like Paddington Bear and his orange marmalade

Delicious, you’d say, your laugh never fades.

Imperial, UCL, Imperial, UCL

Imperial is always better, you’d debate and tell.

Your hugs were warmer than a rich chocolate cake,

The last you made was an amazing vanilla bake.

Star trek, Star Wars, you loved sci-fi

And also loved a slice of Pret pecan pie.

And Leedamer cheese, I know because I’d say

Buy some more please please, don’t delay!

2015, we watched the Rugby World Cup,

The pasty was delicious, to the All Blacks you’d say “what’s up”!

I love you more than you’ll ever know

But now we have to let go and it’s time to grow.

Thank you for your kindness, your support and you

I love you to infinity and back, that’s even more true.

You engineered your path so well, all the time,

But time has arrived too soon like a crime.

For us you were everything, gave your heart and soul

You were so organised, you had the cleanest breakfast bowl.

Pythagoras, Einstein, Newton and Da Vinci,

You’re probably enjoying their conversations and saying “Oh si si”.

Words can’t express the love you gave,

You stood for everything that was right and you were so incredibly brave.

No one can replace who you are

That’s why you’re now a unique and wonderful star

In the sky, in heaven, wherever you may be

I’m rooted, I’m grounded by the enormous tree

You built, you nurtured and gave to all,

We’ll keep building it taller than all that are tall.

Gandalf’s wisdom you liked, which you know to be true,

“A wizard is never late, he arrives precisely when he means to”.

You’ve arrived at another destination and go in peace

Because life always comes to an end of lease.

I love you Dad, you’re probably still smiling

I’ll go out there and always do the right thing.

You live in my heart, my head and my shoes

You taught me well – I will go whatever direction I choose.

You’ve mapped it out in a book with your trusty penknife,

So take care, farewell, I love you for all eternity and life.


Mara Kalsi

Like it was with Sita's, writing a bio for your sister is a really  weird thing so here goes.

When Mara first read us this poem, a few days after Dad passed away, it was just my sisters and Mum there. When Mara finished reading it to us, it was one of the first times we had felt some kind of joy and a weird sense of the information settling into us a bit. And Mara brought it to us in a way only Mara could. In her kindness and compassion to soothe us in some way, her dreamscape of imagination that gives her poem so much power and her never failing ability to put a smile on our faces.

I do think that is one of Mara's most powerful qualities and we do always say it that she's the funniest sister but it's true. And that incredible talent came to our aide more times than we could count since that day in June. 

Mara, this reflects your beauty inside and out and Dad would be so incredibly proud of you.

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