In Memory of Sean Howard: A Poem by James A. Tweedie The Society September 5, 2021 Beauty, Poetry, The Pandemic 9 Comments . Sean who passed away this week in Honolulu, Hawaii Although there are a few who’ll grieve and mourn, Who’ll celebrate his life and then move on, The unexpected loss will be hard borne By those who called him “Brother” and “My son.” I knew him back when he was still a teen, No longer just a boy, not yet a man, But somewhere shy and awkward in-between; A life adrift, as yet without a plan. I spent a week with him in Mexico, He helped to build a house while we were there. He took a saw and wouldn’t take it slow, He gave his all and did it with a flair! At thirty-six, it seems surrealistic To think he’s now a Covid death statistic. . . James A. Tweedie is a retired pastor living in Long Beach, Washington. He has written and published six novels, one collection of short stories, and three collections of poetry including Mostly Sonnets, all with Dunecrest Press. His poems have been published nationally and internationally in The Lyric, Poetry Salzburg (Austria) Review, California Quarterly, Asses of Parnassus, Lighten Up Online, Better than Starbucks, WestWard Quarterly, Society of Classical Poets, and The Chained Muse. NOTE: The Society considers this page, where your poetry resides, to be your residence as well, where you may invite family, friends, and others to visit. Feel free to treat this page as your home and remove anyone here who disrespects you. Simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Put “Remove Comment” in the subject line and list which comments you would like removed. The Society does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or comments and reserves the right to remove any comments to maintain the decorum of this website and the integrity of the Society. Please see our Comments Policy here. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) 9 Responses Joe Tessitore September 5, 2021 Beautiful, James. Reply Allegra Silberstein September 5, 2021 Thank you for this beautiful poem and blessings on all you do. Reply Brian Yapko September 5, 2021 James, this is a beautifully-crafted sonnet on a very sad subject with a final couplet that carries a devastating emotional wallop. The poetic tribute you’ve given Sean is deep and meaningful. I’m so very sorry for your loss. Reply Margaret Coats September 5, 2021 As long as Sean Howard is held in loving memory by family and friends–and especially in the sight of God–he will always be more than a statistic. And so he is in your memorial poem, James. It reminds us to think beyond the statistics about the eternal value of each soul. May he rest in peace. Reply James A . Tweedie September 5, 2021 Margaret, You caught my intent perfectly. They are a Christian family in the full sense of that term. And Sean is anything but a statistic to God or to me. “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from henceforth.’” “Yea,” saith the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, and their works do follow them.” Rev. 14:13 Reply James A. Tweedie September 5, 2021 Thanks to all for your kind comments. Reply Damian Robin September 6, 2021 Thanks for sharing your friendship, Jim. Sean must have felt it. The last couplet seemed oddly jokey at first but does show the unfathomability of the facts of life and death. Reply James A. Tweedie September 6, 2021 Damian, I wrote the couplet to contrast the human loss of an actual human being with the tendency of the media, science, federal, state and local governments and various groups to frame and reduce the progress of the pandemic to impersonal facts, figures, graphs and related data. The couplet is intended to reflect and evoke the same irony as the novel title, “All Quiet on the Western Front.” Thanks for taking the time to read The poem and for leaving a comment. Reply Paul Freeman September 6, 2021 There is a danger, with such large numbers, of the people behind the figures getting lost. You’ve done Sean Howard proud, James. Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.