Thomas Rocky Wade – a lifelong friend, fellow poet, and stellar soul!

Throughout the history of literature, many writers have presented their perspectives on what the true meaning of life is as well as that which we do or should treasure as human beings. The concept, allure, rarity, and at times, aversion to developing friendships have been constant themes in prose and poetry. At the core of these pursuits is one question. As human beings, what is it that we seek or expect from our personal relationships?

With age comes the realization that the answers to these lofty inquiries are rather simple to know, yet they remain extremely difficult to discover in your fellow man and possibly, even more so to practice.

Thomas Rocky Wade is a perfect example of the embodiment of those rare traits we covet. As if these attributes weren’t enough, Rocky is also somewhat of an enigma. During the decades I’ve known him to always be a kind, giving, caring friend, I’ve come to the conclusion he is quite unique. You’d be extremely hard-pressed to locate a man or woman with a bigger heart, giving infinitely more than he or she ever receives or would desire to. It is in this last comment about desire where the truest beauty of Rocky rests. He expects nothing while steadfastly giving to all. His smile and laughter are infectious, adding to the genuineness of this man.

To love and to be loved are universally thought of as being the most important goals of life. I’ve learned through knowing a select few people like Rocky Wade that if you truly learn how to love, to give, and to practice these as routinely as breathing, your life will be filled with love from others.


The young man on the left in this photo is Thomas Rocky Wade of Atlanta, Georgia. As long as I can remember, he has always been called Rocky. The other, young man in this photo is my older brother, Mike. This picture was taken at Roosevelt High School, located in the Grant Park area of Atlanta.



Rocky has been our dear friend since the early 1960s when our family moved into an Atlanta housing project named Capitol Homes. Rocky also lived there. He and Mike were the best of friends during their high school and college years. They and I also attended Mercer University in the early 70s.



Like lots of adults after college, Rocky and I drifted apart for many years due to family, careers, and life in general. While an Atlanta Police Officer, occasionally, Rocky and I would run into each other in Downtown Atlanta or while I was attending Georgia State University and working in uniform. Regardless of how brief, every meeting was a joyous event.

I’d like to think we were recently reunited in friendship through high school reunions mainly due to serendipity combined with a newly-discovered knowledge that we shared a love for writing in general and poetry in particular. I knew that Rocky was a writer for and then head of our Mercer University campus paper, and I’ve always known that he actively struggled for the rights of his fellow man, woman, and child. That was and will always be Rocky. He’s a champion for those less fortunate in need. This innate passion became his life’s work.

I don’t think Rocky has formerly published his poetry, but I’ve read many of his poems. They are as centered and grounded within the miraculous wonders of life as Rocky. His words are rich with that which money cannot buy, and his voice has the gentle force of a placid stream, flowing slowly, purposefully to open minds and loving hearts. There’s a gentleness in what he writes that’s palpable, and at times when necessary, a soft-spoken indignation void of righteousness comes forth.

Frankly, I love this man like a brother, always have, always will. Like Rocky, his poetry is easy to love.

Below is an example of Thomas Rocky Wade’s poetry – my lifelong friend, a fellow poet, and a truly, stellar soul!


Sitting quietly sharing a chilly Morn with Leonard Cohen

Rising early on a chilly Saturday morn, to meditate

To process the noise, the craziness, the chaos of the last two weeks

Seeking clarity in what seems like confusion


A varied tribute to Leonard Cohen in the background

Thirty different singers sharing their variation of “Hallelujah”

Jon Bovi, K.D. Lang, Susan Boyle, Alexandra Burke and

A choir of angelic voices jubilant with hope

Sitting quietly, a cold chill from the morn and the music

Remembering Leonard Cohen, sensei


It has been a wakeup call for many

That time when we transition it what is to be next

Without knowing what is to be next


“People do not mind change, they do not like to be changed”


We gingerly step forth, anxious, hoping that our steps are sure

So Zen in practice, each step a meditation

Seeking clarity but what most of us what is just a hug

In a time of uncertainty…


I reflect on my favorite prayer and mantra

Celtic yet Zen, complex yet so simple in application


“May there always be a warm wind to your back,

Warm sunshine to your face

A laugh to cheer a weary soul, and

Deep love to warm your heart”


And maybe a dram of bourbon to wash it down


I, too, feel like a ship afloat but I know

That this cycle will come and go and there will be more

We will survive

We will prosper

We will experience the best is yet to be


It is a time for humanity

It is time for us to reach deep

It is time to reach out to those unwashed, unloved, unnoticed

And show of what we are made.


It is time for grace, jubilee, for Hallelujah

Sitting quietly, a cold chill from the morn and the music


Saturday, November 19, 2016

Thomas Rocky Wade

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Thomas Rocky Wade – a lifelong friend, fellow poet, and stellar soul!

  1. Beautiful Ron, on all accounts.

    “Hallelujah” is one of my favorite songs…played it endlessly, after losing my dearest friend, my Mom…until I thought the CD would burn out. Over and over again…as it fed my soul. I enjoy singing along, lost in the victory of the words…peace washing over me.

    How wonderfully blessed you are to have such a friend in Thomas “Rocky” Wade. And, equally, he, in you. The older we are, the more precious true friendships become. (The name “Wade” sounds so familiar).

    I love his poem (except maybe the “dram of bourbon” lol – although it certainly has it’s place). “Seeking clarity in what seems like confusion”…a definition of life, in the midst?

    “It is a time for humanity
    It is time for us to reach deep
    It is time to reach out to those unwashed, unloved, and unnoticed
    And show of what we are made

    It is time for grace, jubilee, for Hallelujah”

    Beautiful, indeed. Amen

    Thank you for sharing, Ron.

    Wishing you and your family a Blessed Thanksgiving.

    Suzanne Holko recently posted…“Random Acts of Kindness…Caught Being Good?”My Profile

    • ronshaw says:

      Suzanne, Rocky is an amazing man who will always be dear to me. His poetry is incredible, and he has never lost those roots we shared in the projects.
      I’m very happy that you enjoyed the piece and his poem.
      Losing Leonard Cohen is tough, but he left us so much to remember him by.
      I’m sorry for your loss of your Mom. Regrettably, I also know this pain.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge