Ode to a Bi-Polar Cousin

Mourning Doves among the Trees

Earth no longer hears bellowing laughs and
Anguished shrieks from the yo-yoed hand
That yanked him up to ecstatic heights and
Dropped him low as dirt, rebounding and
Recoiling in cycling rounds of joy and dread.

His earthy songs and shrieks are quiet now
In air we breathe where once with dog his feet
Did walk the woods alone in search of deer
Or trout or own real self among the trees and
Streams where fawn and fish were found.

Between the poles of rapture and lament
He in momentary pride would stride and
Just as quickly in despair would sullen weep,
his smile widen with hope and flatten in
Despairing search of light he could not see.

And we his kith and kin left upon the field
Of ashes on the ground lift up the torch
He left for friend and foe alike whose yo-yo
Minds and meds cannot raise hope to life or
Hear coos of mourning doves among the trees.

In memory of first cousin Dennis Smith (b. 02/03/1942 in South Paris, Maine; d. Norway, Maine 02/09/2017).

  • Gordon C. Stewart, Chaska, MN, Feb. 28, 2017
This entry was posted in Family, Life, Love, Poetry, Uncategorized and tagged , , by Gordon C. Stewart. Bookmark the permalink.

About Gordon C. Stewart

I've always liked quiet. And, like most people, I've experienced the world's madness. "Be Still! Departure from Collective Madness" (Wipf and Stock Publishers, Jan. 2017) distills 47 years of experiencing stillness and madness as a campus minister and Presbyterian pastor (IL, WI, NY, OH, and MN), poverty criminal law firm executive director, and social commentator. Our dog Barclay reminds me to calm down and be much more still than I would be without him.

6 thoughts on “Ode to a Bi-Polar Cousin

  1. Gordon, you bring tears to my eyes and sadness to my heart. Ten years ago I lost one of my best friends whom you have described to a tee. Ronnie was a very special young man as I imagine Dennis to have been. Thanks to you for your verse.

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    • Jim, it’s not a club anyone choses for himself/herself. He pretty much locked himself away for nine months. He was brilliant, deeply caring, and had suffered the deaths of is first two children – one yr.old Christopher to a crib accident), and Sean (19 in a car accident after returning home from his spring semester at Colorado College).

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