I wrote this poem following the death of a man I barely knew. We had met a number of times as he was the father of one of my best friends. I could feel his compassion and warmth and sense he was a good man who put more into life than he took out.
When he died I was compelled to write this poem.
Some people touch everyone they meet and leave them feeling better than they were before.
John was that type of man.
Those people are the ones we must measure ourselves by.
I don’t think I have ever shared this poem with my friend Rich. It was almost too personal.
In us, all humanity lives forever.
The ripples of a life flow through us.
We are atoms in the oceans of humanity.
Yet we carve new shores in the sands of the future.
Ripples embrace the soul in us,
Setting examples for us to see,
Subtly changing us and through us – the culture.
At the end a man is judged
By the balance of the good he does
With that of the evil;
The building and the destruction.
Some leave cities raised from the dust
Some leave rubble
And some leave whole green continents
Of love and warmth and smiles
For others to inhabit;
Continents that can change the direction of an ocean.
Opher 5.6.96 (For John Duffy)