Thursday, January 8, 1970

Howard's return; Second poem: Night

January - April 1965

Just before walking away from the project with Rhine, I was informed by my old Berkeley friend Bill that our mutual friend Howard had been excommunicated from the Mormon Church for "perversion". It was shocking, incomprehensible news. So I decided to check it out, since we hadn't been in communication for several years. When he heard my voice on the phone, Howard surprised me by saying he had just then been listening to the tape recording I had sent him in summer 1959! We were both amazed.

In renewing our correspondence, his pain and circumstances inspired my second poem.


The North is silent
Uneasy lull awaits
As darkness gathers

Dry rot unseen
In lofty places
Un-shored structures
Hid by Blackness
Sand and Stone
Appear as one

Who beckons travelers?
Whose voice is clear?
Why are the sounds unsure?

Gusts disturb
This tortured sleep
Words in flooded streams
Still rage!
And Desperation
Strips my soul
Before Abyss—
Or Hope

San Diego
Apr 65

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