“For Jeff, on the Anniversary of His Death” by Richard Spilman

Richard Spilman


We have come to the point
where death will sever
what once made us whole
and what may be has not
yet announced itself.

You have gone before
to scout this new world
for those of us afraid
there might be more
than just death, and life

after, that in fact
what we have known
so knowingly might be
only part of the story,
the rest as amazing as

the shock of a bomb
hidden in a bouquet
of flowers given on a
street corner by a veiled
girl with beautiful eyes.

You have gone before,
you have taken her gift,
breathed the scent
of her flowers, lost
yourself in her eyes.

from Rattle #45, Fall 2014
Tribute to Poets of Faith


Richard Spilman: “We all have faith—faith that the garbage we leave at the curb will be picked up, that the patch on the right front tire won’t blow on the freeway, that the air we breathe will satisfy our lungs. But faith in God is something entirely different—embracing not only the insubstantial but the nothingness that precedes all creation. Kierkegaard compared faith to jumping off a cliff, but it’s not nearly so dramatic or (thinking of Wile E. Coyote) so comic. But it does require, on good days, the ability to live not as if the world were transformed by my internal vision but as if I can be transformed by the inner heat of a world that, even at its most magical, is never what it seems to be.”

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