Richard Pierce

Richard Pierce – author, poet, painter

Life, Poetry

Day 312

If you read this blog regularly, you may recall that I mentioned a few weeks ago that the vicar, Helge, who had married Marianne and me in the Norwegian Seamen’s Church in Rotherhithe in 1991, died in September, which made us both very sad, and even more aware of how time is passing, and how we need to grab it. I finally had confirmation today that this family’s condolence letter had reached S, Helge’s wife, in Norway. I sent a poem along with it which I wrote when I heard the news. Just to complete the record of Helge involvement with this family, he blessed our marriage on two subsequent occasions (once at the Rotherhithe church, and once in the Norwegian Seamen’s Church in Torrevieja – that 5 years ago), as well as christening all our four children, and he’s one of only two people to keep their real names in Dead Men. And he makes at least one appearance in the as yet unpublished sequel to that novel. I hope this poem is one of ony many memorials to a fine fine man.



I meant to call you,
The only really holy man
In my life, and my
Imagined real life took
The time away from me.

Your unused number sits
On various pages of my
Day books, waiting to be
Dialled, and now never
Will be.

When we last saw you,
Too many years ago in Spain,
We all said we’d see each other
Again soon, and never did.
Reality pulls us so far away
From each other.

Life spread too thinly, made
Too complex and tenuous by
Technology and demands of
Money and useless striving.
Why do we want everything to
Be better, no matter how good
It is already?

I don’t know if I should ask
Forgiveness from you, or celebrate
That you simply are part of this
Family forever, no matter that
I can no longer see you nor
Speak with you.

My holy man,
You will always be
The best man I knew.

R, 25.9.2022




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