In Memory of Peter Sears
(1937-2017) Poet, teacher, friend–
I believe that when I hear a poem,
I hear the silences between the words.
Auden said, “The death of the poet was kept
from his poems.” But he was wrong. When poets die,
their poems know and they grieve.
For Peter, there came the time when time had run
its course, when every breath he tried to take
was broken and he had no more distance left in him.
His poems knew he was dying. He kept no secrets
from his poems. The honesty of his poetry
had given them the strength to know the truth.
When Peter stepped from this life into his next,
his poems understood. He had prepared them well
to be poems in a world without the poet.
They grieved, oh, they grieved, but did so
only in the silences between the words.
Doug Stone has written two poetry collections, The Season of Distress and Clarity and The Moon’s Soul Shimmering on the Water. His poems have been published in numerous journals and in the anthology, A Ritual To Read Together: Poems in Conversation with William Stafford. He lives in Albany, Oregon.