How We Grow To Care– Dave King


This is just an imagined image– I don’t think it really looks like Dave–I’m not a portraitist–but I just did it to express affection.

When you read someone’s poetry, you cannot help but get a sense of their personality.  Poetry tends towards the personal.  “Blogged” poetry (posted so quickly after initial creation) is perhaps even more personal.  Often the blogging poet does not have the time, or the wish, to insert the levels of separation that might arise from extended periods of revising, sticking into a drawer, revising again.

There are some  poets you get to know even better than others–not necessarily because the poets are confessional.  These poets just have “friendly” voices.  When you read their work, you feel like you are sitting down with them over a cup of tea.  Often they share something  that is even more warming than the virtual hot drink–they share enthusiasm, passion, determination, wonder–a vision and a voice–their truest selves.

Dave King, a poet who blogged at, was one of these friendly voices.  You understood reading his poetry that this was a good man.  His death was just announced by his family on his blog yesterday;  I, and many in the online poetry community, have been terribly saddened by this news.

Dave’s work was insightful and clever.  Some of my favorite pieces are the sketches he wrote about village life in England when he was growing up (around the time of World War II).  The sketches are simply so much fun–they recreate this world–its rich quirkiness–its kindness and harshness, its quintessential Britishness–

Dave also wrote a lot of poetry exploring nature, physics, rather deep philosophical questions.  He wrote about people for whom he had cared–his students, his friends, especially his wife.

He had a wonderful visual sense–he occasionally posted a painting he had made, and wrote  about the act of painting, also about the act of seeing.

Dave also used his wonderful poetic voice to support the work of others.  His comments buoyed me up many many times when I just wasn’t sure that posting my poems was worth the effort.

Please do go check out his wonderful work.  The last pieces, written in sickness, are transformative.

Finally–I never met Dave–I’ve seen just a small picture of him.  So I know the above, meant to be a younger Dave, does not truly look like him, and I really hope the drawing doesn’t offend anyone.  (I’m not terribly good at portraits.)  My thought was just to illustrate the way a face becomes part of one’s context of the world–even a face one only sees in a little corner of a blog post–how strange it is how these creative online exchanges can reach across ocean and skies all the way to hearts and minds–

(I am linking this up to dVerse Poets Pub where Brian Miller has made a small homage to Dave today.)

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34 Comments on “How We Grow To Care– Dave King”

  1. Linda Rogers Says:

    Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts on Dave. I wish I would have known him but I will be checking out his blog.

  2. grapeling Says:

    Karin, I like the portrait, and the essence of kindness shining out of his eyes – I think it does resemble Dave. You are always thoughtful and present with your comments, and I appreciate them, and your writes. ~ Michael

  3. A lovely tribute. And your portrait shows the essence of Dave.

  4. Wonderful image and thoughts.

  5. I love this portrait of Dave accompanied by a truly moving tribute. Thank you Karin.

  6. Jamie Dedes Says:

    A lovely memoir. I didn’t “know” him; but, I got a few emails with people telling me sadly of his death so I know he made his mark. A don’t remember that our paths crossed.

  7. Akila Says:

    lovely tribute!

  8. Mary Says:

    I like the portrait you drew of Dave, Karin. As one who USED to paint some, I feel when you draw someone you kind of get inside their essence; and I can feel that you did that with the portrait of Dave. Yes, you have told it like it happens in the blogosphere….how we get to know one another, form relationships. And true with some, like Dave, the relationships can go quite deep, I think. Perhaps with him it was also because he wrote such individualistic poetry, the kind of poetry you would recognize as his even if his name was not connected with it. And he wrote always from a unique perspective….what a creative, analytical mind. I do know he painted, but I don’t think I have ever seen a painting of his. I would have liked to, as if he painted as he wrote it would have been a most wonderful view. I think Dave would be awed by the recognition he has been given. Sad that it only comes after he passed…but perhaps (knowing Dave) he is looking down and knows! I’d like to think. If you visit my blog (on a return visit), do go to the Dave King poem “Poem Upon Poem” rather than my frivolous 55. I’d like you to see it. Have a good weekend, Karin; and I guess I’ll see you in the bar Smiles.

  9. brian miller Says:

    smiles….perfect k…a nice little snap shot of dave…and how he intersected your life just a bit…i think your picture of him is pretty cool….

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Thanks, Brian. I got back to the country very late, with guests, and I really couldn’t do a very focused job on it, but I wanted to put something out there. Thanks for your handling this “event” as it were. I know Dave loved your work, and that you were a faithful follower of his. K.

  10. vbholmes Says:

    I did not know Dave King but he must have been a wonderful communicator, as well as a treasured friend, to have received such accolades from so many. Wonderful memoir, Karin.

  11. nico Says:

    Like many, I didn’t know Dave all that well, but I think your portrait captures much about Dave that we all will remember–kindness, a sly smirk of good humor, an open expression of welcome. Wonderful tribute of image and word.

  12. claudia Says:

    i immediately recognized him on your pic k. and i love that you drew that sketch… love also what you say about the friendly voices..and think you’re one of them as well…smiles

  13. hedgewitch Says:

    I don’t think anyone could wish for a better epitaph than the kind and very true words you’ve written here for Dave. Those images of 40’s and 50’s Britain, and also of the schoolroom, that he imagined and brought to life, remain distinct in my memory even as it forgets names and faces– as if the poems themselves were the man’s essential features, more so than nose or eyebrows, name or face. I think your drawing captures much of what I feel about him, also, k. A sad passing, but also a gift left behind for which I’ll always be grateful.

  14. Grace Says:

    a lovely sketch & painting of Dave K ~ he does write from his truest self & that goodness is seen from his work ~ have a good friday ~

  15. A beautiful tribute, it warmed my heart.

  16. janehewey Says:

    This is so beautifully written and well spoken, k. I interacted with Dave only a few times, but each exchange was full with gentle integrity. Thank you for sharing this. I think Dave would be honored by it.

  17. I loved reading this and love the portrait too which I think Dave would like very much! It is true that the faces in the little icon buttons beside the comments grow to be people we call friends and grow to know very well. What a blessing this is in lives that otherwise might be too solitary. What a wealth of wonderful people we meet. One of them being Dave. Another being you.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      That is such a very sweet thing of you to write, Sherry. It is much appreciated and reciprocated–I love knowing a “wild” woman from the far west. Thanks much. k.

  18. Karin.. I loved this drawing, and there is a lot in what you say. We draw a lot of conclusions from the way people write. Dave’s voice was kind and tender, and I agree it felt like drinking a cup of tea with him.

  19. ds Says:

    I think your portrait is exactly how he must have looked in younger days. Your tribute is perfect. It is remarkable how much we grow to care about someone we will never meet, but who has touched our lives so deeply with his words. Thank you.

  20. margaret Says:

    Karin – everything about this is wonderful. I am curious now to look up his paintings. I don’t recall ever seeing them.

  21. margaret Says: This is a very sweet poem and I’m sure you have read it. I have bookmarked his site as I want to go back and really go through it. Also, if you know of any specific time he painted and posted, I’d love to be linked. Otherwise, I’ll meander at my own pace – no worries. 🙂

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Dear Margaret–thanks for this link. The main one I remember about Dave’s wife was a bit of a biography–I believe that she had polio. Thanks so much. And thanks for your kind comment. I’m sorry I’ve been slow in returning; I’ve been working a great deal. k.

      • margaret Says:

        don’t ever worry about life getting busy – I understand. I just worry when people “disappear” and I worry something is wrong.

      • ManicDdaily Says:

        Well, thanks. I am a bit worried about the busy-ness of my life right now as it’s been kind of overwhelming (and depressing), but I am hoping it will sort itself out. Thanks for your kind comments. k.

      • margaret Says:

        I don’t like to hear depressing… but make sure to express it in your poems – maybe that will help chase it away. hugs.

  22. othermary Says:

    Wonderful comment and picture too! He really touched a lot of lives.

  23. I like your sketch! And also what you have written here.

  24. I’m giving him my personal homage tomorrow, Sunday. I’ve been reading all the different contributions on various blogs and it’s amazing to see the wide range of people Dave’s poetry and personality touched and will continue to touch. I don’t believe that his words will die with his body. I believe that his poetry is the kind of poetry that will outlive him. Many thanks for this sincere and honest post. He would have appreciated it.

    Greetings from London.

  25. Gabriella Says:

    I had missed this post. It is a beautiful tribute.

  26. Jinksy Says:

    I’m just beginning to realise how many ripples Dave King caused in this wonderful pond which is Blogland…

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