I am now almost 40 years old, so I decided to write an account my life in poetic verse, a quick skim of the things that I have gone through. It’s written as heroic verse, with rhyming couplets throughout. Each year of my life is covered in two lines of verse (a rhyming couplet per year), so this poem is 78 lines in total with a rhyming scheme of aa bb cc, and so on. May it bless you as you read it aloud. Perhaps you may even connect with it. (PS – I have written a pindaric ode reflecting on how God took me out of homosexuality. You can read that here.)
My Life in Verse – by Haydn Sennitt (August 2019)
Into history I came in February
In the year of AD Nineteen Eighty;
To Chatswood’s Beresford Avenue I
Joined my folks, then heard my sister’s first cries.
A young shoot growing up into a tree
Was the curly haired blond, little old me.
‘Kindy’ class was soon graced with my presence
Back when I hungered for Christmas presents.
Nan, in Northbridge, watched the mischief I’d made
Then cleaned up the mess with a towel and spade.
But soon the bell tolled when mum got tumours;
We hoped the cancer was just a rumour.
Jill survived the ordeal, one breast cut off
When down on Chernobyl death rained her stuff.
Then I was told we had to ‘move onward’,
So I blocked my tears and learned some song words.
We cheered the nation’s two hundredth birthday
And hoped that the poor would just blow away.
It was then we heard news odd and bizarre:
We bid farewell to the USSR.
The world was changing and I, ten years older,
Grew bigger, smarter, and rather bolder.
In Ninety-One I changed schools; then Nan died;
Moved house; lost friends. Had my eyes opened wide.
These brand new things in my life felt so chilled;
The old had gone, no matter what I willed.
Now thirteen puberty punched me one day,
Yet I felt so queer: I thought I was ‘gay’.
I suspected dad would skin me alive
When admitting that I liked other guys.
Again the bell tolled when mum’s second breast
Spawned new cancer. They again sliced her chest.
Weeping inside, her womanhood shattered,
She often believed she didn’t matter.
Again I changed schools, to flee from its thugs
And I felt so worn from feeling like mud.
Graduating from school in ‘Ninety-Eight
I could do my own thing. I couldn’t wait!
Now I sat in university halls
As many feared that Y2K would fall.
The Social Science course that I studied
Prepared me for work. I wasn’t worried.
Yet the bell tolled again (one, two, three): sick
Mum was again after the Olympics.
Then she died just before 9-11.
I joined the ‘gay’ scene when she joined heaven.
My family broken, my life plans were dust.
Though a Christian for five years, I lived in lust.
Facing a life cruel and unstable
I wondered if it all was a fable.
What profit did God have in all this mess?
I missed my young life at my first address.
Wandering my own tracks, I walked outcast
Lost far from God’s way, the safest path.
Then in ’O-Seven I married a wife –
Ji Hyun, my beau, to begin a new life.
One year later came our first-born daughter,
Ji Hyae, whom I bathed in scented water.
To Korea we moved and soon returned
To process the lessons I had to learn.
Hwan Hee came next, our baby number two,
Who gave such joy. We changed her nappies too.
I entered ministry at thirty one,
Then shared my story to help other sons
Stuck in homosexual addiction
And other sinful, deluded, fictions.
Through churches aplenty I flew my flags
Giving testimony. How I loved to brag!
Then it stopped so I ceased (uninvited).
How it hurt to feel ignored and slighted.
When seminary stopped the next project
Was to shepherd a church of wrinkled necks:
My history unique, with details macabre,
Gave light to others still trapped in the dark.
All which God gave (the gorgeous and ugly)
He was using to carve sculptures of beauty;
Though stubborn, impatient, and sinful
I am with such blemishes and wrinkles,
I thank my family for how patient it’s been.
Goodness, my eldest is almost a teen …