(A farewell to my irreplaceable friend, Stan Gildersleeve)
I lost you, friend, the other day;
I never saw you leaving.
You got away before I knew
You'd gone beyond retrieving.
Oh, how I miss you, friend;
The older brother that I never had;
A fellow spirit, wiser, sometimes mad;
Iconoclast and engineer, a blend
Of anarchy and insight wild and glad;
A life too large for death to really end.
I never got to say goodbye,
There at the final curtain.
You went your own way in the end,
As you had lived, for certain.
So, now I’ll never know
What next you’d say or do because you thought
It better to contest what fools have wrought;
That we should seek the truth, not live to show
What all our greedy, grasping hands have bought;
That we should work to save, not spend to owe.
Without you, who will call Fraud’s bluff,
And give its lies a grilling?
Your passing leaves a vacuum: huge,
Without a hope of filling.
Still, I will do my best
To live my own remaining days as well
As memories of you will help me tell
The time left on the clock: the only test
To pass before the tolling of the bell
Calls me to join that vast, eternal rest.
Michael Murry, "The Misfortune Teller," Copyright 2009
Labels: Misfortunate Poetry