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For Gwydion, page 1

To Remember Thomas DeLong,
Who Wrote as Gwydion Pendderwen,
On the Second Anniversary
Of His Going into Eternal Life

I remember the night I first met you On Bernal Heights, before we knew The Craft would cross our paths. The strident horn of your flaming car Drew me to the street: before The doors of Hightower, where Lord Randall ruled his mad Court of science-fictioneers, Van the Dagda read an Anglican wake Over your still-smoking engine. I remember you, and I begin to let you go.

I remember how you sang to me and Alta When you first visited us in Oakland, And how you gifted us at our wedding, Singing us new a wedding song Worthy, I think, of the kings We thought we were perhaps descended from. On the first anniversary of your death I heard Sally Eaton sing of you A wilder music than I knew she held. As dragonflies draw flame your voice Has drawn and draws forth song. I remember you, and so I try to let you go.

I remember the nights I came to your circle Or you to ours: cautiously we reached Toward friendship, dialog, pursuit of the chimeras Of history. You praised me, friend, in print, To our friends, and to our enemies, Whether you agreed with me or not. In Nemeton you And Alison published more of my poems Than any other person ever has. We were Initiates in the same tradition at the end, And no conversion or dying or any other Transformation changes that. It hurt, and still It hurts, that you are gone. I remember you, and so I slowly let you go.

I remember the nights when we drank together, Drank and talked and talked and drank again: The night I met Ed Sitch, the night we bombed Hans Holzer, the Sabbats at Coeden Brith. Especially I remember how on my last drunk You gave me a clew that helped lead me From the labyrinth: only a real Irishman, You said, would carry the wine jug with us From room to room as we rambled on About things earthly, unearthly, and in between. And you were with me that night, In that car with no brakes in which I drove Six people home, over the Bay Bridge, Fading in and out of blackout. I remember, vaguely – but I've let that go.

At thirty-six I got sober; At thirty-six you died Of drink and drugs and dying As surely as if you has OD'd. It is not Fair, it is not Just, it makes no Sense: you weren't that much Crazier than me. I hoped You'd get it too, and we'd be Friends again, but that was not Your path. Toward the end I heard How rapidly you were dying, How little song was left in you. You did not die of poetry. Now on each anniversary of my sobriety I remember you, and more I let you go.

Strange that the night you died I dreamed I met George Cockriell, who'd lived with me On Bernal Heights, who died of World War Two In 1971. Striding down the hill, as if Off to something urgent, he stopped, surprised, Saying, "I haven't seen you recently," And questioned me about what I'd been doing. And in the dream all our houses were one Communal home on Bernal Heights, handbuilt, Complex in its textures, vast within: perhaps Our work on the Craft will have results we could Not know.

	 Yes, George could have been sent

To get you from that ditch: he'd known who you were On Bernal Heights, had watched the Hightower crowd With his black Irish sarcasm, and God knows in France He'd walked through Hell already to rescue other men. ("Why you?"

	  "They've got nobody else who knew you.

Come on, I'll explain what I've found out so far.") So, yes, I can see George walking with you, Quietly explaining the lay of the land, Walking with you up the hills of Heaven that look Much like Bernal Heights, Much like all our hills writ large.

I can see you singing, with a real harp, Of real gold, in a robe all of white Except for the seven colors proper to a bard Embroidered in its flashing: you are Wreathed with mistletoe.

				 I see your eyes:

They are clear and serene: in the distance You can see the accommodating gods and goddesses, Who are both one and many. They sing to you, Drawing you always further in And further up. Now you go Singing ever higher into the hills: You are finally, utterly healed. I remember you, and now: I let you go. fictioneers, \WORD\POETRY\To Remember Thomas DeLong9/5/88 9/5/88

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