THE FOURTH YEAR (for Heathcote Williams)

 
It should be news that today marks your fourth
Year of departure. For when society loses signals,
Or signposts such as yours, the days warp
 
Folding in on themselves, without the words
To unravel the mystery of each moment
Or the all too blatant lies behind doors,
 
And the truth that we are poorer without
The richness and way you delivered, as you sat
In your dotage, fountain pen pouring futures
 
Onto the calligraphied page with such ease,
That every political pose and every social
Shift achieved scansion, rhyming under you,
 
The verse surgeon whose equal vision and zeal
Cured disease.  Four years ago on this day,
You passed into the page your work fashioned
 
With all of the lost, last abandon that jackdawed
Away above youth. I knew you older, of course
But for those who loved and lived with you longer
 
May these annual stokings stir embers that see
Your spirit rise. We seek proof that you ever
Departed at all. For death uses dust to edit
 
The life and work you left with us.
In this, your eightieth year we’re still
Reading and readying too what you write.
 
So grief composes within as memory
Makes us all poets. And so I write for you, H,
As always small stanzas of love.
 
Words as light.

 

 
 
                        David Erdos July 1st 2021

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