On Leonard Nimoy’s Passing

Over at SuperversiveSF, I have added my own thoughts to the many eulogies offered to the man who’s most famous role gained almost archetypal status, that of the benevolent Vulcan philosopher Mr. Spock:

For me, Leonard Nimoy always embodied the wise and self-controlled paternal figure, whose gentleness was that of a man who was well aware of his own strength and the damage it can cause, so showed restraint wherever possible, but was always prepared to use that great strength to defend the innocent and stand up to evil wherever it appeared. In that his persona was that of that greatest of ancient figures, the warrior poet, who is not only strong and skilled in the arts of war, but also possesses the moral clarity to know the proper time and place to use those arts for the good of those around him and society as a whole. He also embodied the deep thinker, the guardian to another world of wonder and mystery, into which he would allow us to peer ever so briefly and whet our appetite to begin our own search for truth and wisdom.

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Imagine God

My apologies for the delay, the summer heat has caused an eye irritation that means I cannot look at text on a screen for long without a lot of discomfort, so we’ll see how soon before I can write anything else.

In the meantime, this is what got me started as a poet, and made me realise I might have some talent for poetry, much to my surprise. The situation that brought this experiment about is not a happy one.

For the first year of my marriage, we lived in a rented flat, and our landlord was a young man in his late twenties, living with his girlfriend on the floor above us. He was killed in a car crash about halfway through our tenancy, and we of course attended his funeral. It was the most depressing event I have ever attended, utter despair written into the faces of everyone in his family at such a promising life cut so tragically short, and one of the songs played over his open grave was ‘Imagine’ by John Lennon/Yoko Ono.

I was probably the only native English speaker at the funeral, so I’d like to think that whoever chose that song didn’t understand it, only knowing that he had liked it. I remember thinking at the time that it was a terrible song for a funeral, since its message is one of forsaking all hope for the next life in exchange for some presumed happiness in this one.

It is a beautiful haunting melody, so I set about writing some alternative lyrics that would be close to the original wording while transforming its message into one of genuine hope. Here is the result: Continue reading