"As I mused, the fire burned"

Reflection on life as a person of faith.

+RIP+ Joe Walker

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I just returned from the requiem for my friend and collegue, Joseph Walker. It was a glorious celebration, tinged with the sadness at having lost a truly unique and gifted individual. Joe was brilliant, in an unassuming and humble way, and the few times I sat down for coffee or hops with him it was always a joy.

It brought to mind for me a silly poem I had written several years ago. The poem was written with Joe’s goatee in mind, but was intended to present a lighter perspective on racism (the differences between us and how those things lead to hatred). The rest of the poem is pure fantasy (neither of us drove hearses, our dear spouses look little alike and neither did Joe and I…but I was just trying to ryhme). As I was mulling over the question of racism, Joe’s goatee seemed to pop to mind, and the poem followed quickly.

I was thinking about my aboriginal heritage, and how I look as un-aboriginal as possible. There was no racism in my life, unlike those who looked aboriginal, and yet we shared a common heritage. It got me thinking about how we categorize others based on only how they look, often to the exclusion of more significant considerations.

The other day, I met a man,
Who looked just like me.
Same hair, eyes and skin…
Ah, except he had a goatee.

I looked at him again,
With a careful eye.
We could have been twins,
He and I.

I questioned his mind,
Beginning with philosophy,
His thoughts on economics,
The Pope and theology.

We were of one mind
On matters divers.
His wife looked like mine,
Our cars, both by hearse.

The more we spoke
It became quite clear
Two birds of a feather
Had gathered here.

As alike we were
In every way
I could not stop staring
At that beard, plain as day.

My mind flitted back,
To images gone past.
Did not art render the bad,
With a beard just like that?

Revulsion grew,
With each passing breath.
This man was not like me,
He was as bad as the rest!

And so, I took leave,
Without a look back.
For that small goatee,
There was no way around that.

My search will continue,
In a world without end.
To find someone just like me,
So I can be comfortable again.


Written by sameo416

September 11, 2011 at 1:36 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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