And on the second Sunday of every month,
a mass is celebrated for the souls of departed poets.
John Finlay (Paris Diary: Dec. 24, 1973)
With hands thrust deep in pockets, collar high
Upon your neck, and head turned slightly left,
You seek the muse, as poets often do,
Where land and sea and sky all meet as one.
A cleric’s look, contemplative, you blend
With charcoal clouds that shade a darker sea
Who spills her cotton crests on pastel beach.
Although I never knew you, John, I like
To think of you this way, a figure firm
Within this world but seeking that which lies
Beyond. Yet only God and you can know
In full the depths of mind and blood endured
While drawing nearer to that place past land
And sea where Light thrusts forth through darkened clouds.
So now I celebrate with sweated lines,
The way in which we poets offer thanks,
As you had done among those bearded monks
In France, departed souls of poetry.