Featured Poet: Dudley Laufman, Canterbury
I am 79 years of age, was raised near Boston, and graduated from agricultural school. Living with Jacqueline on the edge of the woods in Canterbury, NH, we earn our money by playing fiddles for dances. My poems have been in many little mags and journals. William Bauhan Press, Beech River Books and Shaker Village have published books of my poetry. Pudding House and Serif & Pixel Press have published my chapbooks. Wind in the Timothy Press has brought out books, chapbooks and broadsides of poetry by other poets and myself. I am a Pushcart Award nominee; recipient of the 2001 NH Governor's Arts Award in Folk Heritage; and, the subject of a documentary film, The Other Way Back. In 2009, I was honored as a National Heritage Fellow of the National Endowment for the Arts. Currently, I am Honorary President of the Poetry Society of New Hampshire.
Jacqueline's older brother died recently in California. She had not seen or really heard from him for thirty five years. The poem came from what she shared with us at his east coast memorial service.
SHE TELLS US OF HER BROTHER’S PASSING
It was at church during time of sharing
in front of the entire congregation.
She whirled like a dervish, skirts a-flaring,
her face in radiant pure elation.
She said “ I was out working the garden.
The sky was clear blue, the day was silent.
Suddenly without any warning,
a wind came roaring down upon the moment.”
She twirled around and round, her hair was flying.
She said “It whooshed and whooshed and kept on whirling.
Picked up the hay mulch from its winter lying,
and carried it away, a twister twirling
up above the trees into the sky.
It was my brother come to say goodbye.”