For Ron

I lost a friend and a mentor yesterday.
If a man could embody poetry, that man was Ron Ray.

Ronald Terry Ray
January 7, 1957-March 24, 2015

I have his books and a good idea of how he spent
his days. I wanted to sit with him – a pot of coffee
between us, and talk about the clowns he created,
the omens he thieved from crows. I wanted to watch
the clocks take time from us.

What I wonder is if he knew just how much
I loved his work: how often I watched him
make statements that grew into stories which held
no logic but owned the truth in a way most folks
can’t handle. He could place words on a page,
flatly but never flimsily – those words would get up,
do the work for those who lacked the imagination
to stir them. What he did with his writing was
a sort of magic, the kind everyone ought to believe in.

His stories made me sad, but could steal a grin
all in the same line; they made me want to own
my own sorrows – hold them up to the light and dare
them to shine. He made me not want to see the end
of anything, whether it was of a story or a moment.

*His work may still be purchased here.