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
for me."

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.


  1. This is SO special, Sherry...I'm speechless. ♥

  2. i cried to read this. He is Love. <3

  3. How wonderful to know such a gentle and spiritual man. Your poem is beautiful as is he.

  4. What a rarity, at least as far as I've ever encountered. It makes me feel happy to know of this tight friendship which has benefitted you both. Thanks for sharing that, Sherry.

  5. Your words sound high in the air, such feelings and friendship supporting each other along the life - hymn to the special man. Love :)x

  6. Amazing! There are no other words to say. Your words brought tears to my eyes, I love him too, through you.

  7. Oh! What a phenomenal man and friend:
    "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."

    I lvoe that you wrote this poem to the motif. I hope you will show it to him.

  8. Such much love, trust and admiration come through in your words Sherry. Outstanding tribute.

  9. What a beautiful tribute to this phenomenal man and your long-term friendship. How fortunate you both are.

  10. Sherry, it is late here, in the Med, and I saved your post for last, before I close my eyes for the night. Little did I know that I would learn about a phenomenal man, your friend for life, who is every girl's dream, but he is real, a true gentleman, a sweet spirited soul, one you are so blessed to know, and one we are so lucky to have heard about, in this heartfelt, loving tribute. Thank you for sharing.


  11. A true treasure in your life, Sherry, and this poem is a treasure, too.
    Luv, K

  12. It's straight from the heart Sherry. Both of you're so blessed to share a friendship like this! This poem is unique in the truest sense.

  13. If the eyes are the mirror to the soul I wonder what friends such as Matthew are? Perhaps Mirrors that reflect the love and goodness of the other. I am glad dear Matthew survived to paint more beautiful scenery and bask in the sunshine of the love around him,

  14. Wonderful words of a very special man Sherry - how grateful we should be for wonderful souls who enrich our lives.

    (Will write to you soon Sherry as slowly my life is regaining form - wont promise when - but it will be soon.)

    The kindest of regards
    Anna :o]

  15. Unsung heroes like Matthew are in the same echelon as Ghandi and ML KIng. Heartfelt poem about your true friend !

  16. this made me smile on multiple levels....being thankful for all that you loved because that is who shaped you to who you are...there is a wonderful humility in that...and throughout much of this...very cool sherry...

  17. Oh yes, those were the days when we thought we would be forever young. I loved those coffee shop days, listening to those who sang with guitar. I am glad that though he went through 'fire' in the past couple weeks he is still here. He sounds like a good and true friend, Sherry. I am glad he is in your life!

  18. oh wow - he sounds like a special man indeed and a special friendship - that is so precious sherry... that concert he played just for

  19. What a wonderful man.. somebody to look at as a role model.. lots of things you can do actually.. and that would change the world.

  20. I love these words of yours Sherry...they are gems glowing in love, trust and friendship...he will love this poem Sherry...

  21. Special tribute to a free spirit, to have someone as such to share this space and time is special in itself. Sounds of a true and meaningful friendship

  22. So pleased there is a Jonathan in your tribe...found families can be so very special...and love us unconditionally...

  23. such a friend is hard to find, a truly special man.

  24. what a beautiful friendship..sherry thank you for sharing this one

  25. what a wonderful wonderful dedication to a friend that just happened to be a male species.

    you have such a nice way of associating all things living in the same basket, whether a tree, a river, the sky, the ocean, a man. this is the way, the Tao.

    gracias mi amiga

  26. Oh Sherry, you had me sobbing by the end of this - so happy you wrote this for your dear friend - what a gift for both of you. Beautiful beautiful beautiful


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Thank you so much. I will be over to see you soon!