Monday, October 26, 2015


As soon as I saw this picture, I called it "Benediction."
I wasn't in Utah on this visit and could not have taken it, but someone sent it to me.
I don't know who took this photo of
 my two sisters and my youngest brother, Robert, with our mother.
Robert died in 1997 and Mom in 2002, but Marjory and Susan are still going strong.
Robert liked poetry and understood my poems, which was a wonderful thing!


I spied a very small brown duck
Riding the swells of the sea
Like a rocking-chair. "Little duck!"
I cried. It paddled away,
I paddled after it. When it dived,
Down I dived: too smoky was the sea,
We were lost. It surfaced
In the west, I torpedoed west
And when it dived, I dived,
And we were lost and lost and lost
In the slant smoke of the sea.
When I came floating up on it
From the side, like a deadman,
And yelled suddenly, it took off,
It skimmed the swells as it ascended,
Brown wings burning and flashing
In the sun as the sea it rose over
Burned and flashed underneath it.
I did not see the little duck again.
Duck-chasing is a game like any game.
When it is over it is all over.

Galway Kinnell

The Voice That Is Great Within Us; 
American Poetry of the Twentieth Century
edited by Hayden Carruth, Bantam, 1970, pages 599.

I think these are my favorite lines in the poem, but I also like " lost and lost and lost"
Brown wings burning and flashing
In the sun as the sea it rose over
Burned and flashed underneath it.


  1. I am pretty sure this was taken on Dad's last trip to Utah in May of 98. Robert came a couple of days early, so dad actually missed the birth, but he spent a lot of hours holding him in the six months they had on earth together.

  2. I could have taken this picture but I do not think so, because I probably would have asked a stranger to take it so I could be in it. Brian thinks it was taken around May of 1998 on Rob's last trip to Utah. (Rob died in Dec 1998; George in Nov 1993.) Gordon was Married on May 16, 1998 and the picture I just looked at showing Rob visiting in our living room shows him with no hair. This gives more credence to Susan's suggestion that george took the picture in 1992 or early 1993.