Looking for Gregory


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Inspecting the ranks
of serried greys,
in slow files,
past numbered quadrants
the marshalled dead
silently whisper their names.

And though none are you,
we stop.

Ingest the chiselled summations
of life.

Then resume the drill.

Shuffle and sift.

On a sea of leaves
we are washed uphill to the shore
where you sit,
a smooth stone sleeping
at the foot of your ancient brother
who taught
Poetry is a sword of lightning,
ever unsheathed,
which consumes the scabbard
that would contain it.

And you
who saw love as odd
as wearing shoes.

You sit there
a loving pair.
Crazily unmatched and free.

I sit beside you and give thanks.

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22 thoughts on “Looking for Gregory

    • It’s a salute to the regiment of the dead at the Protestant Cemetery of Rome where we hunted down the stone for Gregory Corso, Beat Poet extraordinaire, whose ashes lie at the foot of the tomb of Percy Bysshe Shelley. Soldiers of love separated by 250 years of passing time…. Relations in sentiment and passion only 🙂

      • If I recall the Beat Poets were a Bohemian lot in the 50’s – Allen Ginsberg et al?

        I was going to refer you to a song by Scottish songwriter extraordinaire, Karine Polwart. If you’ve not come across her, she’s a poet on a musical stick, and a very fine one at that. Here’s a link to one of her political numbers “Medusa” :

  1. The feeling of searching here reminded me of when we went to find a cousin on the Vietnam wall when visiting the east coast. And then just pausing there and quietly touching the name. “Ingest the chiseled summations of life”. Great use of words.

  2. This brought tears to my eyes. Wonderful tribute – even though nobody knew who it was for (at first) everyone connected with the sentiment. Nice one, B. I hope one day somebody writes as touching as tribute to your work. You deserve it.

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