Ian Sowton reads Dry Bone Valley

When Our Beloved Elegist dies

For Dear Ian

Passing is not an acceptable word for your death, dear Ian.
Wrenching, tearing
But still not right for the loss of you, whom we hoped against hope would live forever.  
You always found them
The words that we are now bereft of
Now bereft of you.
There was another time of silence.
Once before, dear Ian
A self-imposed pause, stirred by solidarity and love
A gesture of heart and conviction–so very like you.
An act of conscience and consequence.
But now this stop, this silence, dear Ian,
We grasp to find your words.
Surely you left us the perfect elegy, thoughtful as you always were?
But humility win out.
And we are pressed into a sad, reluctant harvest
Pushed into fields of canticle and psalm, poem and hymn to gather them up
Your words
That always gave us back our essence.
Sacred and irreverent
Eccentric and ordinary
Wise and wonderful.
How, our Ian, will we know who we are?
You are our
Scholar dishwasher
Feminist listener
Poet advocate
Our Ian, might we ask one more thing of our most cheerful giver?
One more thing
Of you who in word and action drew from your deep well of faith to give us back our own
Pray for us.
Dear Ian, we ask you
Pray for us. So that your loving words and example will midwife us forever.

Jennifer Henry, January 23, 2021


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