The team at Swimming with Elephants Publications was greatly saddened to hear of the passing of one our authors, Bob Warren. We are dedicating this week’s Weekly Write to a poem by Bill Nevins which honors him.
To learn more about Bob and his poetry, head over to: https://swimmingwithelephants.com/2019/12/18/r-b-warren/
What is Precious is Never to Forget
Eulogy or Elegy for the Living Poet, Ever Near this Poor Man’s Ear
Dear teacher Stephen Spender taught me long ago
“Near the snow, near the sun, in the highest fields . . .
The names of those who in their lives fought for life . . .
And left the vivid air signed with their honor.”
Soour poet of Litanies Not Adopted singed and signed the air here with his fierce honor
His love of life, of even poor Christ
Whom he saw in every parched or vibrant face he found
In this weary land, in Detroit City, and in this dry desert town.
As Donne told us the toll sounds for each however mean
SoBob preached love too would ring in us every one
If we found that buried note that stream
It might be blood of the lamb, flowing free in our deeds
It might be only buried deep in our unborn seeds
It might need be wrested forth
By words of fire, touch of light, fury, oh cold star- light.
Bob wrestled with God, he did, and surely still does,
and no holds barred.
When and where none but angels saw.
No one won. None lost. The Holy Ghost, Bob’s second, called a draw.
“Why dost thou hide thyself in clouds
From every searching Eye?”
With Blake, Bob challenged the coy deity to Be HERE Now!
I think the sky god only laughed and saw itself in the house of store among the lost,
In the mirror of Bob, son of man, and knew revelation needed no more
Knew no airy sky god need be found when Bob and such walk solid ground.
But that’s just me, agnostic mystic disrespectful American rebel son.
I would not mess with Bob nor Barbara, armed lovers ever, love in arms.
And that warning applies to the god of grief, that holy thief-
-Don’t mess. Best, just bless.
And move along, now, Daddy-O. You done your best and worst.
Bob abides. Bob never hides.
Bob may go, but Bob is here, right here. We know.
Ah won’t Detroit howl and mourn when they hear?
Ah won’t Sonny that strong hero of Motor City laugh and cry for the tall brave man called Whitey X—who knew Black Lives Matter deep in his heart and needed no one to tell him so?
And won’t this second tier rhymester raise his beer, shed a tear?
And won’t sweet Jesus smile to know that Bob is near? Always near.
Bill Nevins grew up Irish Catholic near and in New York City in the 1950’s and 60’s. He moved to northern New England and raised his three children, one of whom, Special Forces SFC Liam Nevins, died in combat in Afghanistan in 2013. Bill has lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico since 1996.