as I sit in this pew
in a meeting quiet
watching the polished arm
of an old seat in front
worn smooth and shining in
the soft lit windows tall
pigeons aloft outside
on roof peaks in the sun

he sits across the room
his creased face a lovely
smile that speaks of his kind
heart, sunshine of the soul
that lights the room in my
mind's eye, perhaps to all
thank you John for gracing
us with your singing voice

a French poet once said
heads high up in the clouds
feet firmly on the ground
poets see far ahead
and guide us all along
I say melodious voices
quiet stanzas measure
our pace and direction

that is what sets us free
thoughtful community
intentional support
to lead our way in this
world confused, for we must
lead and not wait for
others to do what we
can do the best of all

Inspired by a new 90 year-old friend at a Quaker meeting in Cambridge, who passed away in October 2008