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

unbounded imagination.


I was in Egypt when you died

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