Thursday, August 10, 1995

poem: In Memoriam

Both Duane Garrett, a radio talk show host in the San Francisco Bay Area, and Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead died in the summer of 1995, within weeks of one another. I was working in Yosemite National Park and therefore had no one to grieve with. I wrote this in response to my feelings on the matter. Stanza 2 is about Duane Garrett, and stanza 5, the last stanza, appears to be about Jerry Garcia. The last four lines of the last stanza are about both.

In Memoriam ­ for Duane Garrett and Jerry Garcia
Yes, I remember.
The newspapers contained only a
Shadow of Truth,
What could ever be Truth,
For the only real Truth is
Out on the street corners, and
Behind closed doors.
Emotion, raw emotion--
This is Truth.

Yes, I remember.
Glossy magazine pages and
Disembodied words in the night
Telling me news that was a week old--
Old news, but
New to me.
What am I supposed to think?
A part of my world--gone.
But there is no one here to talk with.
I am alone.

Yes, I remember.
I remember being left out.
Your world is but a fantasy to me.
Still pictures and images--
I was denied the reality, the emotions.
I move away, and everything changes.
When I return, all will appear
The water closes in over the stone,
Leaving only faint ripples
Of the past.

Yes, I remember.
I remember missing the TV pictures of the
Mourning of death, the
Celebration of life.
The pictures and voices and shared memories
That are all part of the grieving process,
However small.
But that is also part of another world,
Not mine.

Yes, I will remember.
How could I forget?
Some will mourn away their tears,
While others dance them away in
Celebration of what was.
Bodies move,
Transforming pain to action and an
Outpouring of love and support
For the mutually grieved.
I can see it so clearly in
My mind's eye--
So real.
If nothing else you will be remembered
In memory, thought, and lifestyle,
And as long as these endure,
So will you.

Wednesday, August 09, 1995

poem: In A Spirit of Friendship

{Later note: The Innovators were a group of Christian young people who I worked with in Yosemite National Park in the summer of 1995. We were of different faiths, but they were so nice and seemed so happy, even in the tough times. I would hang out with them, and occasionally go to the worship services they put on. They were a respite in a cold and unforgiving world that summer. I only wish I had a way of contacting them and letting them know that I finally came to Christ. Definitely something I will have to do in heaven. God bless each of you, wherever you are today.}

In A Spirit of Friendship ­ a poem for the Innovators of summer, 1995

Thank you­
For being there for me,
For being a
Modicum of spiritual sustenance for me.
We may not be of the same religion,
But there is only one God, so
Yours in mine, and mine is yours.
We have similar paths and goals,
Only different ways to reach them.

So in a spirit of friendship
I bid you all a fond farewell.
Even as I go back to my spiritual family,
I will not forget you.
So far from
You have helped to fill a void in my life.
So for being a friendly hand on this
Empty road--
Thank you.