Wednesday, March 11, 2015
A Phenomenal Man
In coffeehouse days, his songs thawed the ice
around my heart:
Gentle Jonathan, Silver and Gold,
guitar chords strumming in the ambient light,
as all our hearts took flight.
We thought we'd be forever young, back then,
when a few of us became forever friends.
Our souls both belonged to the wild,
so in my Tofino days, he'd come.
We'd stalk wild beaches at sunset,
cameras in hand,
seeking truth our souls could understand,
joyously beside the ocean's roar,
Beauty above, below, beside, before.
hearts so full one wanted nothing More.
Then he'd play an evening concert just for me:
all the songs I loved, opening my heart
and setting feelings free,
the music pushing me
to the point of pain,
then mending it again.
He told me once
"I'm embarrassed to be a man,
because of the violence men have done
to women since time began."
His heart is gentle; he honors the woman he loves.
"Sometimes I raise a glass
to all the men my wife has ever loved,
and then set free,
because they helped shape her
into who she is
He writes, this gentle soul,
composes and performs his lovely music,
he paints, he ponders the meaning of life,
looks deep into his soul.
His trip has been a spiritual journey
that he makes with gratitude and peace.
He is in love with rivers, and with mountains.
Within the river's song
he finds release.
He says "I love you" to the trees,
to bushes, rocks, and passing bees.
He tells me, smiling, that of love
there is no lack.
"After a few minutes of saying 'I love you',
to all I see,
I can feel everything in the world
loving me back."
He is one of the two men in my life
who won my trust, whose friendship remained
platonic, unwavering and strong.
Our coffeehouse days shine golden in memory:
music, and friendship, laughter, love and song,
a place in this old world where we belonged.
We recognize the Members of our Tribe
and, when we find them, they become
our family, trusted, safe, life-long.
He made a journey these past weeks
through the fire. We almost lost him.
But he rallied, the surgeons did their skillful work.
He will return home to his cabin by the sea,
to his sunsets, his wood stove,
his wife and his cat.
And I am eternally grateful, for that,
for his presence on this earth
means all the world to me.
And I'm waiting for what he saw
when he was cosmic-traveling
to show up in a painting,
so we all can see.
Matthew, they asked me to write about
a phenomenal man,
so I've been looking back down all the years
as best I can.
How does one say "thank you"
for friendship that has lasted half my life,
that weathered all my storms and tears,
my ups and downs, my loves, my fears?
You helped me grow,
and when I had no clue which way to go,
you taught me all you know,
the best was how to just let living flow,
like the rivers that you love.
Our friendship I am so proud of.
You are a gentle man, and true.
This poem's for you.
for Mid Week Motif at Poets United: write about a phenomenal man.
I could have chosen Mandela, Gandhi, Martin Luther King. But Matthew has witnessed the last thirty-five years of my journey, and we compared notes all the way, as we were traveling. For having had such a direct impact, he has been the phenomenal man in my life.