I think no more or less of you
than when you lived
alone hoarding memories,

long life collecting guns
and knives in the Berkeley hills.
Only with plastic yellow ribbon

stretched across Tanglewood
can we share a last laugh:
bomb squad extricating

your volatile black powder,
old ammunition and grenades
from the backyard bunker,

neighbors at windows, and you
gleefully grinning down upon
the commotion you’ve stirred.

Stanford, Harvard law, Bohemian
Club, without issue you enjoyed
the luxury of eccentricities

far from your mother’s dirt—
or her father’s, the Judge
in the barn with his jug.

All we really wanted
were the stories, first cousins
once removed in life and death.



  1. Peter Notehelfer

    A fine eulogy if I do say so myself . . .

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Family, once removed are not, are family with all their quirks and foibles. My sympathies being sent, John. Equilibrium is sometimes hard to manage at times like this.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautiful. Make sure the stories live on. They are a legacy, after all.


  4. I’d love to know the story behind that one.


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