When you walk off the dock
and die
you sink beneath the water
and the part of the dock
closest to land
separates from the end
and floats away
and then there is a gap between the shore
and the remaining dock, out there
and we cannot follow you

When you walk off the dock,
because that is your purpose
and die
we stand by the shore
in wonder that
you have sunk out of sight

It’s not that we can rescue you
Rescue efforts were made, long ago
But we can wonder about the fact
that there is water, dock, but no you

When you die, you are as if gone,
and when we walk by the lake, later,
we see the broken dock
but not you

Still, one thing you may not
have known
when you walked off
is that we own this water
we know this water
even here on shore
we are deeply connected
to all water

And not only that
We are part of all the earth
that holds all water
in it’s palm

So, when you seem to disappear
from view
you are not lost to us
except for in the dry air
of daily living

Wherever you are floating
in the deep
we are that deep
we are with you in that
wet and full level
of coexistence

We hold you in our deep
dark, divine palm of love
and we never let go
we never agree that you are gone
just changed from living
in our visible love
to our invisible love


Some comments:


Margot: Paul, I saw this on FB.

I feel touched to read it.

I didn’t know Finn. I don’t even know exactly what happened. Yet reading your lines, I find that they talk to his soul in such a sensitive, cautious, but also fatherly and wise way. You keep away from criticizing his decision, but you make aware of the consequences in a soft and gentle way. You state facts and show the finality of cause and effect. I wish he could have read your lines earlier and then it may have changed the course of events.

I also noticed, appreciate and cherish, how, even though you state clearly that he disappeared from us and made himself unreachable to us in some way, considering all the relative bonds and links (symbolized by the part of the dock that connected to the end piece of the dock and now drifted away), leaving us at the shore staring to the drifting part and wondering with no possibility to connect. and you point to the disruption of communication he himself caused, making himself unavailable (in terms of “visible love”) and even though you softly and ever so tenderly indicate that he may need to face that reality of severed, broken connections on a certain level in some way as we ourselves have to face it, he did not ultimately disappear out of the great network of things (“invisible love”)! You wrote so beautifully about this deeper level of connectedness! Although on a visible level of relationships some breaking has taken place (and this causes pain as any discontinuity does), you also show that there is a deeper level of connection, a more divine level, and that we will hold him close to our hearts on THAT level and he will never ever leave that great family and unity of love that holds us all and actually all things existing together in a tender embrace and complex web. .

I never read a more sage, more tender, but also not embellishing, analytical and stating clearly the facts, therefore sincere and unsentimental poem or reflection on a topic that is so difficult. Thank you! It is healing because it is discerning and thus a little like an acupuncture. It does not pretend there hasn’t been any pain caused, but at the same time it uses the pain for healing and growth.

I wish Finn could have had a talk with you earlier. But at least it is for us to learn from your words. Namaste

PS YOu have a very subtle and wonderful way to use words to express abstract things. Your photo is also very telling. Thanks again.

Heidi Winn Bousquet 7/18/2017 07:53:44 pm

Thank you. I am moved by the depth of how you hold space for Paul’s poem. I read it right after Finn died and now a month later I read both the poem and your response without the coating of shock. Below is a link to Finn’s photo video.

And Here’s the link to Finn’s memorial service in Fairfield, IA

Here I s a link to Finn’s photo video.

Paullink6/22/2017 11:48:54 am
Your understanding and appreciation of what this poem is reaching for shows that it is our poem, not just mine, and that we are all the writers, creators and experiencers of the level of loving support that this attempts to document.

Raven Garland6/24/2017 07:34:09 pm
Beautiful poem, Paul.

…and all water is holy water.

Sunny Duane6/25/2017 10:24:27 am
Lovely triblute

Patty 6/25/2017 12:23:40 pm
Incredibly poignant and beautiful