Friday, January 6, 2012

Poem for George

The poem posted below was written in the summer of 1980, when I first came to California for a visit with my Aunt Yvonne and my Uncle George.  They convinced me not to return to Philadelphia, but to stay in Los Angeles and become an artist here.  George and Yvonne took me under their wing, and within a month, helped me find a job, an apartment, and bought me my first car (a Ford Vista Cruiser).  George even taught me to drive and I set out on a brand new life in Hollywood.  Without George and Yvonne's intercession in my young life, I would not be the person that I am recognized for today.  I will be always grateful to Uncle George who saw my potential as a budding artist, and gave me the opportunity to grasp freedom and independence.  I have never looked back!  I am sharing this poem today, in tribute. It's really an allegory, because I know I am not the only "vase" that George rescued. (Ironically, I am also now a ceramicist; above is my pottery.)

The Sleeping Vase

He spied a vase, sleeping on top of a shattered, broken pile.
It seemed alone amidst the rubble; its dusty, clay-covered
Surface ached for recognition, but there was none.
Though chipped and dented--scars from the past,
There was no trace of a branching crack.
It slept, remained, and waited for time.

Then, his strong and concerned hand gently lifted the
Sleeping vase from the faded ruins.  He could see its
Silent beauty under that chapped surface, for he polished
And cared for it, displayed and treasured it, and put it
On his proudest shelf! The Vase woke up unto itself,
And now shined brilliantly from that special place,
A warm place with the sun; a place it longs to stay forever.

Written on June 19 1980.   For George Becker, who passed away on Jan 9, 2012.

    George will be long remembered within the hundreds of people's lives that he touched in innumerable ways. His adopted patron saint was the nature-loving St. Francis, who cared deeply and loved all of Mother Nature's creatures. Like St. Francis, George was thoughtful, generous, positive, kind, gentle, and genuinely humorous.  I am very happy I am still here in the warmth of the California sun.   Thanks, George.