For Jay, April 23, 1947—December 14, 2020
The billow of the curtains, the deep tolling of a bell
below me in the village, what stories they might tell
if I only knew their language. The voice of bronze and wind
may just be a passing zephyr, or the tale told of a friend
seven days departed, now reduced to ash and bone.
Words scattered by a priest, to bless and to atone
for some small ineptitudes, hardly sin at all,
now he sits upon a shelf in my entrance hall.
Does he sense our daily passing? Does he know we know his worth?
Does he long for his reunion with water and with earth?
Soon, my friend, you’ll be released for a final time—
freed from the ineptitude of flames and bells and rhyme
to record your passing in sermon or in verse
as you rise again once more to join the universe.
R.I.P. Jay—friend, father, brother, lover. Fellow expat, now a citizen of the Universe.
We spread Jay’s ashes in Lake Chapala on December 29, 2020. If you’d like to read about the ceremony and see photos, go HERE.