Kai Coggin, an incredible poet in Hot Springs, Arkansas offered to write personal poems for people she knows for a very modest fee. (I encourage anyone happening upon my page here to have a look at her website: www.kaicoggin.com).Having read quite a bit of her poetry, I jumped at the chance to have her write a poem for me. I chose to ask her to write a poem about my soul, one of the subjects she offered to write about. Recently, I met her over a beer at the local brew pub. She read the poem aloud to me and gave me a copy. I was more than touched; I was deeply moved by her words and what she saw in me to write about. Here, with her permission, is the poem she wrote for me.
⌘ Ends in Fire
(for John Swinburn)
in a deep gated forest,
there is a man
who ends in fire
pounding words into space,
words that race through him
with an urgency of importance,
syntax that lacks life until uttered
by his shoot-from-the-hip lips,
he hammers a legacy into a cyber stone,
permanent markings etched into the ethers,
a deep ember of a man,
ready to pool his eloquence
on the side of righteousness and justice,
ready to lend his pulsing typewriter fingers
to the side of beauty and light.
I hear the drumming of his keyboard in the distance,
soul percussive rhythms of a burning man,
the vibrations echo from his forest into
the valley where I sleep,
the ground shakes a muffled call,
his virtuous battle cry awakens me
and I drum my sound into the blank page morning,
a poem of light against the impending darkness,
we don our invisible armor together,
destined to figh the ugliness of the world
with the beauty of only our words.
surrounded in treetops,
there is a man
who ends in fire
manipulating the flow of energy
progressively counting up
the trail of consciousness he leaves behind,
the breadcrumbs of brilliance
left for true seekers to find,
but his fire will only illumine the way,
somedays, only a line of thought
leaves his cavern of continuous thinking,
somedays, a recipe for international delicacies,
somedays, a question that leaves one answering all day,
the golden thread through all his writing,
in a cloak of pine and birdsong,
there is a man who ends in fire,
smoothing and thumbing
the surface of soft clay into a face,
the expression of a mask that stares back
through black holes of possibility,
he shapes mouths, noses,
eye-sockets and chins
into abstract manifestations of humanity’s search,
sometimes the words don’t come
and there is another type
of song that his hands become,
a true artist is limitless,
sculpture is a physical creation,
Michelangelo saw an angel trapped in marble
and carved until he set it free,
you are a man
who ends in fire.
was the very first recorded
ancestral reference to your name,
you are here minus an e,
a name lit with undaunted embers,
your crest carries the motto Semel et semper
—”Once and Always”—
this is the uninterrupted war cry of a man on fire,
a man who defies lifetimes
to come back with a lexicon of weapons
to fight for the side of humanity’s evolution,
the write the story of humanity’s dying and blooming again.
I recognize a fellow warrior.
I know the drumming keyboard sounds that bounce
off the limestone and fallen leaves.
I hear you.
I hear your song.
We write for what’s right.
Once and always,
we write for what’s right.
© Kai Coggin 2015
Wow! She nailed it beautifully! You are lucky to get a personal poem.