Wearing His Trunks in the Hotel Pool

Wearing his trunks in the hotel pool,
My eyes stinging from his absence
      and the heavy chlorine in the water

Jacuzzi, as agitated as my heart,
      and just as empty

I soak in the hot and turbulent flow,
Remembering lively conversations
Wishing there would be more

It’s a crisp evening,
      the sky clear,
Populated with stars and memories

I remember too his pain,
The agony that immobilized him,
      extinguished his vitality

At long last the timer shuts off
      The waters turn tranquil

I see again the peaceful beauty of his final place
      Am comforted in his choice
      Serenity and final destination
At last, freed from pain

It calms me

The knowing of it releases my own

I need not follow his specific path

I accept the loss
      try to heal
Replacing each sad memory
with some joyous moment from our mutual past


Copyright © 2018 John Dillon

NOTE: This is private, non-published material. You are reading it is because I have shared this with you privately for your feedback.


Enough Waxing, Now for Some Slow Waning

E-mail from Patrick on 18 June 2012.

I’m taking a charter flight to Pisa and a train to Florence tomorrow, back on 24 june, the day of Jan Juan. I will have my mobile phone.

Mostly I’m moved to make the trip because a neighbor just died and his son had a wake, then another friend due to arrive for holiday fell, and is being operated on for a blood in the brain, I’m not getting any younger and one of my oldest friends is now ailing in his 80’s. I’m afraid if I wait much longer, one of us won’t be there. Plus I really want to try for the US in the fall, so wouldn’t be able to see him then.

In the meantime, I’m Ok, not to worry. Walked to the sea today – no that was yesterday, and caught a ride back up.

After commenting on Father’s Day, he added:

it’s suddenly cooling off with a light breeze. in between the foothills and promontories below the Teig, clouds are forming out of nothing and climbing up into the blue. quite extraordinary. behind the church a thin mist appeared, consolidated, congealed, if that’s the word, into a hefty white cloud and then rose up like the holy ghost. and behind a sort of butte which most of the time looks to be attached to the cliffs of the Teig, a wispy grey cloud floated along, making 3d from 2d, delineating features seldom distinct. and the last of nightingales are piping their forlorn farewell – it is said they only sing until they mate, and these maybe didn’t score?

the torrente is now bone dry until the next big rain. it’s so quiet now that on the way to the cala you can hear the pods of the wild wheat when they pop open and toss the seeds, or a chameleon shifting under the dry leaves.

enough waxing, now for some slow waning, for twill be a six am morn and straight into the sunrise t’ward the airport. we all turn into mr magoos at 100 kph.

When I asked about the friend in Florence, he replied:

No, it’s Robert Dreicer. We taught school together on Long Island, I visited him in Athens in 63, and he visited me with Fred Young in Galilea, Mallorca in 72.

The Last Nightingale

Patrick sent me this short recording a long time ago (the file date is 2003, but it may have been earlier than that.) He said it was the last nightingale of the season before all flew off to wherever they go next.

I believe it was this song that filled his ears when he finally passed into the nothingness.

I have used it for my Windows “shutdown” sound all these years because it is so peaceful.

But …

e-mail letter from Fred to Patrick and Stephanie on 31 Jan ‘1, which Patrick sent to me on 8 Sep ’15 as part of a large collection.

Date: Thu, 22 Feb 2001 19:08:46 -0500

Subject: But . . .

Merwin DID say, ‘If I wasn’t human I wouldn’t be ashamed of anything’

& Oooo how we need Iraq. You know . . . Your tax bill is losing favor, sir. BOMB IRAQ. I’ll make a strong statement to begin my administration. BOMB IRAQ. Ms L. may testify. BOMB IRAQ. Some say, sir, that women should decide the disposition of their bodies. BOMB IRAQ. Etc., you know, someone let the blacks get away, so now it’s Iraq.

But, despite being human, I say Greetings Stephanie & Pat, Continue reading “But …”

Toy Construction Set

Here’s a recording from 18 March 2017 with a lot of restaurant background noise in which we talk about a toy construction set I remembered as a child. We had spent hours assembling a massive structure but I tripped and fell into it one night while getting up to use the bathroom.

JP: The construction set, I thought it was in New York.

PM: No, no, it came from New York. I brought it for Christmas from New York to visit you guys with Donna.

JP: I was thinking it was when you had to sling me in the sheets to make it look like laundry.

PM: That was New York. You came up on your own on a bus. Continue reading “Toy Construction Set”

patrick (a Poem by Stephanie)

It seems appropriate to post this on Valentine’s Day, that Hallmark card celebration that can nonetheless be used to convey real love. I’ll post the back story that goes with it when I get a chance.

i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
i fear no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want
no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

– Part of a collection of pieces Patrick sent me on 11 August 2015 called You Never Know.

So Much More To Do

Sometimes I’m overwhelmed by the amount of material I still have to scan and add to this web site. I allow so many things to interrupt me even though I know that there is a lot still to provide to you.

I’m sorry I’m not getting it done in a more timely fashion, but I shall continue to upload stories, recordings, pictures, and letters as long as I am able.

Nothing Is More Important than Love

This very special recording from 7 Oct 2014 is a conversation between Patrick, JP, and Christine. It’s too large to upload here so I’ve posted it on YouTube instead.

Christine: From your point of view as an 80-year-old man, and your son being 58 years old, and having lived the life that you’ve lived, what advice would you offer him as a younger man?

Patrick: Can you give me a couple days? Continue reading “Nothing Is More Important than Love”