Her faithful friends are there before me –
Seattle – or her dozen local fans –
ready for Denise Levertov Day,
with bookshop events, her parish church
performing her words set to music –
Father Glen, in robes embroidered
P - e - a - c - e, already launched on his
pious spiel as I sidle in, having
toiled uphill in spring sunshine
to the big old evergreen that tops
Lake View Cemetery (as if the dead
still have eyes to thank Lake Washington!).
Here beneath a sculpted stone, her name,
and green turf, rest her mortal remains.
The immortal remains are sounded
by friendly voices, themselves poets –
her books, tenderly read, in hand;
their own lines also of their friend,
their shared years, lake, mountain, parish
church. The aftermath, its story told
of right design, reverent sculptor,
carved memorial stone. We smile
noting how nearby, more visited,
is Bruce Lee’s grave. Martial artist!
The poet of peace, had she still ears,
would hear her words, and ours, of peace,
mountain, lake, and sacred space.
- Max Richards
Australian poet presently in Seattle