Toastmasters UK North & Ireland

Poem for thefort Conference by Poet In Residence – Mike Keenan

The 2 Johnnies

Some say Johnny Sexton’s a National Treasure

Or part of a a Treasure Trove
Its true I know that he is involved
In a sport that people love


He raises the peoples spirits
And the team will rouse the crowd
As Johnny leads them singing
The Nationsl Anthem strong and loud


But a national treasure has to connect
With each person in this land
And unite us to a purpose
That we all can understand


It is not just one thing only
Though sport can play a part
Its more what makes us human
And swells up every heart


So something tells me somewhere
That this award might just require
A bit more examination
And raising the bar a bit higher


For sport is sport and life is life
And only one can measure
The weight in gold of someone special
That makes a national treasure


Theres nobody that jumps out at me
Or nothing that’s obvious yet
But the pearl that’s hidden in plain sight

Can be easiest to forget


I remember someone long ago
Cos I knew deep in my heart
I saw one man that was special
With his yard brush and his cart


I’d run into Johnny Rigney
As I walked to school each day
He’d smile and say , ‘you’re great!!’
Then I’d skip the rest of the way


A simple man sweeping the road
his humble daily grind
There’s many millionaires would crave
Johnnys peace of mind

What made Johnny Rigney special
A question you may well ask
That lifted the heart of a little child
as he went about his daily task


Was it that he always smiled
In hail ,wind , snow or rain
So the little child will always know
That smiles can ease the pain


Or was it a certain beauty
That few ever realise
the unmistakable look
Of kindness in his eyes


Yes, the eyes behold the beauty
The laughter holds the joy
And the moment holds the magic
In the life of a little boy

Not known so much by adults
Much better known by kids
Johnny’s joyful ways engaged
Because that’s just what kids did


This poem is about a person
Which gives it personal appeal
And inside every adult
There’s a child to be revealed


The child that’s stuck in the corner
The child with her head hung down
The child who never had a voice
The child with a constant frown


So free up all the children
And transform all that’s tragic
If this country of ours was run by kids
There’d be much more fun and magic


Now the question of National treasure
And which Johnny makes the grade
Judgement must be always based
On the impact that the person made


Now Johnny Sexton will take to the field
And On Saturday parade his skill
We watch the deftness in his pass
For our Saturday afternoon thrill


But this in itself will never last
And really should carry a warning
Because only Johnny Rigney
Will make you smile on a Monday morning

Mike Keenan

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