In Memory of David Drumm: Saying Goodbye with Poetry

Submitted by Elaine Magliaro

I’d like to honor the memory of David Blair Drumm with poetry. It’s the best way I know how.

Let Evening Come by Jane Kenyon

Click here to read the full text of Kenyon’s poem.

In Blackwater Woods by Mary Oliver

Excerpt from In Blackwater Woods:

Every year
everything
I have ever learned

in my lifetime
leads back to this: the fires
and the black river of loss
whose other side

is salvation,
whose meaning
none of us will ever know.
To live in this world

you must be able
to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it

against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go.

Click here to read the full text of the poem.

Excerpt from When Death Comes by Mary Oliver

when death comes
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,

I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering:
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?

And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility…

Click here to read the full text of the poem.

I wrote the following poem, a cento, some time ago.

NOTE: From the Latin word for “patchwork,” the cento (or collage poem) is a poetic form made up of lines from poems by other poets. Though poets often borrow lines from other writers and mix them in with their own, a true cento is composed entirely of lines from other sources. Early examples can be found in the work of Homer and Virgil. (My poem is a true cento.)

Have you ever found something beautiful, and maybe just in time?
Lift up your lovely eyes and look.
I’m going to somewhere gentle.
I have a secret power, and
I can fly to where the sky begins…
Into the white fire of a great mystery,
Feel stars and sun and bells singing,
Swing through the shadows like warm gray whispers…
Spinning and dancing.
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free…
And I consider eternity another possibility.

The sources for my cento:

Have you ever found something beautiful, and maybe just in time?
From How Turtles Come to Spend the Winter in the Aquarium, Then Are Flown South and Released Back into the Sea by Mary Oliver

Lift up your lovely eyes and look.
From Wind Pictures by Mary O’Neill

I’m going to somewhere gentle.
From Going Somewhere by Felice Holman

I have a secret power, and
From Sunflower Seed by Lilian Moore

I can fly to where the sky begins…
From Finders-Keepers by Cicely Barnes

Into the white fire of a great mystery,
From The Ponds by Mary Oliver

Feel stars and sun and bells singing,
From A Little Girl’s Poem by Gwendolyn Brooks

Swing through the shadows like warm gray whispers…
From Mouse Music by Dahlov Ipcar

Spinning and dancing.
From Dear Snow by Takayo Noda

I rest in the grace of the world, and am free…
From The Peace of Wild Things by Wendell Berry

And I consider eternity another possibility.
From When Death Comes by Mary Oliver

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8 thoughts on “In Memory of David Drumm: Saying Goodbye with Poetry

  1. As a newcomer, I didn’t get to know Nal, but from all the tributes to him here, he must’ve been an outstandounding person. Lovely, Elaine.

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