Bainbridge Cemetery: A Poem

18 Feb

In a rare moment of poetic inspiration, I wrote this after attending the funeral of Paul Ragan, the father of my friend Darrell Chatraw.

Bainbridge Cemetery
Spanish moss hung on mournful hearts,
Sunlight peeked through green pine needles.
Old family reunions,
New family introductions,
Folded flags,
Military salutes,
Loving laugher,
Smiling tears,
Stampering feet.
The book was opened under a blue tent.
Bainbridge cemetery—
Paul Ragan was buried there.
The end of a well-lived life.
The retelling of an ancient hope.
Eyes cannot see,
A heart cannot know,
Shuffling of feet cannot carry one
To the place where the breeze blows,
To the place where the faithful knows
Immortal hope
In the one to come
To Bainbridge cemetery.

In memory of Paul Ragan
May 12, 1921—February 11, 2008


Posted by on February 18, 2008 in Life



3 responses to “Bainbridge Cemetery: A Poem

  1. Santosh

    February 19, 2008 at 3:05 pm

    Sorry to comment on Dylan on what is a rather touching and somber post.

    I think your response to the Dylan critic was right on.

    I should read Restless Pilgrim. I found Dylan’s response to Ed Bradley quite interesting and cryptic when he talked about the commander in chief.

    I have included Dylan’s lyrics in many sermons, and probably will continue to do so.

    I think we should be familiar with Dylan – apart from an apiritual kinship, but also in the sense of his wider contribution to American pop culture. He is basically an iconic figure who no educated person should be unaware of.

    Albums like Highway 61, Blonde on Blonde and Bringing it Back Home are all part of the 20th C. canon of American pop culture.

  2. Derek Vreeland

    February 19, 2008 at 9:55 pm

    Restless Pilgrim is a good read. I recommend it. It is very telling. Also check out this podcast:

    Dylan talks about the role of art in leading people to God.

    I totally agree that anyone living in North America (cannot forget our Canadian brothers) should be aware of Dylan. What a tremendous imprint he has made on pop culture.

    He is a true icon.

    Dylan has always been a poet first and a musician second. And not just a poet, but a bard — a poet/prophet. Bill Flannigan said in the above podcast that after attending one of Dylan’s Slow Train Coming tours he wrote a review for some newspaper. The editor cut his final comment, which was “Dylan has been right about everything else; he is probably right about this (i.e. Jesus / salvation / end times).

    Dylan is the man. He feeds my soul.


  3. Anonymous

    February 24, 2008 at 3:46 am

    Wherever the motivation came for the words, thoughts, and pure beauty of this poem,…what an Honor! Son this poem is something. These “Moments” should come more often.


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