Remembering Robert Zend, 1929-1985
You mentored me
and once you proudly
declared to my wife
you were her mentor-in-law.
Was I your trainee?
Your apprentice? No!
If you had been a knight,
I would have been your page.
Since you were a writer, a poet,
I was your blank page
upon which you exercised
your creativity for ten years.
Sometimes I was a mirror
that reflected your wit,
or a sounding board who laughed
when you tried out your humor.
Other times I was a sieve
who let through your finest ideas
but trapped the rough,
unformed ones for further refining.
At times I was a funnel
and you fed into me the chaos
that arose in you day after day,
and watched what poured out of me.
I dutifully spun your chaos,
often made it too ordered,
until you taught me not to fear
disorder but play with it,
let it form itself into creative
dissonance or hilarious
nonsense, unusual twists
and turns of words and phrases.
One day I realized it was
your mind that was the mirror,
and everyone a sounding board,
a sieve and a funnel.
You have, in your own unique way,
role modeled the creative process.
I learned and began to use my own
I was in
and did not have a chance to thank you
for inviting me into your madness,
nor to show you what I did with it.
This poem is now part of Danielís Second Poetry Collection, From One Child to Another, (Shelburne, 2007: The Battered Silicone Dispatch Box) page 42†
To buy this poetry book, please go to New Book