Elegy

A few weeks ago, I learned of the death of an old friend and colleague. He was a tumultuous man, difficult and contradictory, both principled and unscrupulous, brilliant and thick-headed, generous and vindictive in equal measures. In the end, he drove us all away, friend and foe alike, though some feelings for him remained. I wrote an obituary, then threw it away. They say dreams are for words unsaid and deeds undone. In such a dream last night, this elegy came to me.

Rest in peace? They must be joking.
When did you ever crave the thick, sweet
whine of peace?
I still see you, in the field,
booming, incredulous, lashing the storm
for its impudence.

Sail well, my friend.
Stay in the rain.
Stay in the wind.
Steer your fragile barque
into the beckoning wild.

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