poems for jack

for a number of years now I’ve been writing improvised poems in honor of one of my teachers, jack collom.

jack taught us this form of poetry called the lune. the lune is a simple poem. kind of like a haiku. it is composed of three lines. the first line has three words, the second five, and the third three words again.

I’ve been writing poems that link several lunes together into one single poem. sometimes it seems to be the only way I can write anything. so I’ve stuck to it and try to write one lune a day.

when jack was alive, I remember the joy on his face when talking about poetry, writing poetry with us, or just going for a walk to the creek at the beginning of class. he wore an oxygen tank. the years of smoking cigarettes catching up.

one day we had to leave class early because he coughed up blood. my friend bryan tried to drive him home. but jack wouldn’t let him. he said he was fine.

jack taught us about teaching poetry to kids, to bring poetry into hospice care centers, to bring nature and spirit into our hearts and let it sing through us. his work ranged from strange and obscure to inspired and spiritual.

often times he felt like a vessel for something else. working through him. because he cared and wanted to give something to the world.

he was a person that had something to give, and he gave it freely.

I wanted to write this because his inspiration has been a constant source of giving since he passed away.

in my storage unit, I have a framed poem from him in one of his other favorite forms: acrostic.

the poem goes like this:

L ight

E merging

A nd

F eeding

in his simple way, jack felt like an antidote to the mundane and to boredom and to a life lived without spirit, light, and goodness.

maybe we all can aspire to live a life in the light of spirit and goodness. to do work that gives to people who read it. to live a full life to the last moment.