Remembering Thom Gunn
He savored life and clung
To making every minute
Count - all the music sung -
And saw the sunlight in it.
He studied the wreckage life brings
To a lot of good people who got
Steamrolled by life, and he thought things
Could look better through a haze of pot,
Mescal or a bit of lysergic acid.
I mean, he felt, down deep, that love
Should be a fundamental thing of placid
Sharing of good will on earth and shove
The popcorn of bugging someone who's
Got a different way of making love
Or how they think or pick and choose -
He handled life's mysteries with velvet gloves.
He reduced the roiling turbulence of life
To gentle little puffs of breath -
Of love and memory and strife -
Of happy times, and loneliness - and death.
His eternal spirit couldn't die, we thought -
As he cursed the grey streaks in his hair
And the wrinkles 'round his eyes he fought -
After all, he was to our youthful era - heir.
His words were of earthly brotherhood -
Drawn with care from his flowing cup.
He lived his life as we wish we could:
Following dreams - and all the way up.
Tom Martin
April 2004