"Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood!"
T. S. Eliot
My younger brother Todd and I were born in April, a year apart. We are the same age for ten days every year and have always enjoyed being temporary twins in springtime.
Todd was an exuberant personality from day one, his Tarzan calls echoing through the halls and classrooms of Jeddore-Lakeville Elementary School causing me to burn crimson with embarrassment. I was shy but Todd was not. He sang with the voice of an angel and had the mischievous charm of Lucifer himself. As young brothers do, sometimes he drove me crazy but we were, and always will be, pals.
When Todd was 12 he was involved in a car accident which left him with a serious head injury. He was in a coma for two weeks which was followed by years of rehabilitation. This catastrophic event left him unbalanced and vulnerable. But with typical determination once up and about he careened noisily through the halls of Gaetz Brook Junior High with his walker and hockey helmet to protect his head in case he fell. A full recovery was not possible and Todd has had to live in managed accommodation.
Through trials and tribulations (and there were many) Todd maintained a positive outlook, a sense of humour and an ever expanding gym bag of poems. These he took to the wider world in a typically unique way.
Todd never drove a car but took full advantage of the Metro Transit buses of Halifax and Dartmouth, an early form of social media where he could recite his poetry and distribute copies to fellow passengers. At that time I confess I paid no attention to his poems. His output was colossal, numbering thousands, and I feared the obsession would escalate to another hospital visit.
It has taken forty years for me to appreciate how that awful day, that life changing event and the resulting near death experience left Todd with special insights, a glimpse into a world most of us cannot experience. Today I read his poems with curiosity and respect, the same way I would approach the work of Emily Dickinson or Rumi. To me, the verses combine a prepubescent boy’s innocence with a transcendental knowledge of the human condition.
Full-time bards are a rare breed. My brother Todd Goyetche is a poet to his very core. He has dedicated most of his life to an art that may not always be understood but is certainly worth sharing.