||[Oct. 10th, 2016|12:04 am]
Tonight I found very sad news on Facebook. A post by his brother informed me that one of my first LiveJournal friends had passed away last week. Chris, who posted at LJ as leprosy and m_leprae, arrived here not long after I did, and I believe I was one of the first LJers to add him to my friends list. Over the years he was active here we had many exchanges of comments, and both his posts and his comments were typically bright and funny. He also did splendid digital art with fractals. He gave me a lot of advice about dealing with computers and various applications that I had trouble with. Although he often had to deal with poor health, his recent Facebook posts gave no indication that he was seriously ill, and it was a shock to learn that he had died. I am going to miss him, Rest in Peace, Chris.|
by Richard Wilbur
Now winter downs the dying of the year,
And night is all a settlement of snow;
From the soft street the rooms of houses show,
A gathered light, a shapen atmosphere,
Like frozen-over lakes whose ice is thin
And still allows some stirring down within.
I've known the wind by water banks to shake
The late leaves down, which frozen where they fell
And held in ice as dancers in a spell
Fluttered all winter long into a lake;
Graved on the dark in gestures of descent,
They seemed their own most perfect monument.
There was perfection in the death of ferns
Which laid their fragile cheeks against the stone
A million years. Great mammoths overthrown
Composedly have made their long sojourns,
Like palaces of patiences, in the gray
And changeless lands of ice. And at Pompeii
The little dog lay curled and did not rise
But slept the deeper as the ashes rose
And found the people incomplete, and froze
The random hands, the loose unready eyes
Of men expecting yet another sun
To do the shapely thing they had not done.
These sudden ends of time must give us pause.
We fray into the future, rarely wrought
Save in the tapestries of afterthought.
More time, more time. Barrages of applause
Come muffled from a buried radio.
The New-year bells are wrangling with the snow.
I'm sorry to read of your friend's death. Recently one of my long-time LJ friends died up in Montreal, and I felt the pang of losing yet another good acquaintance. It's hard.
That is a very beautiful poem.
Richard Wilbur, even at his darkest, always makes me feel better when I'm sad.