Denver Tribute, with my Father

As a boy, I heard John Denver on an old 8-track

in the States. Car trips were infused by John’s

melodies, not quite country, not quite rock,

not quite blues, but John, the one and only.


Sad, he lost his life, in the air, coming

to a standstill. We are here to revisit

his life in song. My Dad marvels at

a baritone duet, I revel in renditions of


‘Leaving on a Jet Plane’ sung by a woman

and ‘Thank God I’m a Country Boy’

foot-stomping, barn dancing fun!

John’s not here, but like picking up


a poetry book, the voice never dies,

the lines live in the audience’s head.

‘Country Roads’ is the encore,

taking me to childhood and Aspen snow.


September 2014, The Opera House, Wellington


Poem © Mark Pirie, 2018