Through the magic of social media, Jasper had the opportunity to read a lovely poem this morning, written by a loyal and loving member of the Columbia's arts community, May Evans Kirby. May Weatherwax Evans married local musician, attorney and ne'er-do-well Bentz Kirby on December 12, 2009 when Bentz's son Richard was 24 years old.
She and Richard have been getting to know one another ever since.
She writes, "This morning, my stepson and Bentz's son, Richard Kirby, Jr., posted a poem on his wall. He is a Staff Sergeant in the Air Force and is currently serving in Afghanistan. The poem took my breath away. We chatted on Facebook, and we talked about how much work can go into writing a poem. I told him Worthy [Evans -- May's brother] told me his pieces are always in the works, which made me feel better."
May continues, "I got to know Richard a little better this morning. Thank God for Facebook, Bentz Kirby (for the making of Richard and the marrying of me) and all the amazing gifts each of us has, and what a blessing it is when they are shared."
Here is the poem May shared with Richard this Veteran's Day morning, and below that, the poem Richard wrote which inspired her to share her own.
"Let tyrants shake their iron rods..." I became my fifth-grade self when I heard the band playing ... the hymn I once loved.
Blue eyes stare at me from under a cap of blond curls, A reminder of the wall names as young children who also once stood wondering.
As his parents lift their beloved's name from the cold black stone, they boy and I watch each other- I think he wonders why he is there. The shame of knowing makes me look away.
Carnations weep from the granite base, A sad irony, this beautiful statuary and the ravenous war which engulfed young men and spat out undending casualties.
I cry because I know, and the little boy does not, of the many lists (not nearly as beautiful) already made, and the others yet to come.
I cry again when the music stops, and the lone last band member walks away, instrument and chair in hand. ~May Kirby, 2006
A Fleeting Dream...
I sit upon a string unwinding And remember times that are behind me Of love, of hate, and wasted days Of the straight and narrow, of wandered ways Times of cheer and times of woe And forward to the times unknown On I move, seeking my Eleanor My dream to hold forever more
Still I wait, my thoughts roam free I've consider long, how things could be If everyone could see as I Keep those close they push aside Yet only thine-self one can control Even that bears a heavy toll For the pain that resides in ones own heart Can tear a man's world apart
Though time may heal your mortal coil The demons left inside will kill your soul Of this I pray that all will see And know how true friends should be Still it matters not the feeling felt You can only play what cards are dealt.
~ Richard Kirby
(May Evans Kirby is originally from Alexandria Virginia. When she is not writing poetry she is a customer support rep at a local educational software company.)