Elegy by Jon Torell

(for Benedict Vanier o.c.s.o. 1926-2014 )


Nothing to be frightened of, anymore:

whatever is here, that is there,

whatever is there, that same is here—

a closed-house of many rooms.


There are signs it is so, he said,

see for yourself, but you don’t have to—

you can write your name in the dust, forever,

so in a little while it fills up with your blood.


He is gone now. Still, I hear his voice

among the forest trees: (if you are ready)

Death swallowed up, all the molecules gathered

in the drying off, the dust passes through you:


no more blood spilled, no more blood to spill:

this wondrous- house no longer holds you.

You don’t have to be someone, something—

nothing says you have to.

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