Yesterday—a poem of remembrance

Yesterday

in Pansy Bradshaw’s memory, may it be for a blessing
for gary, as he grieves

Parents of an infant girl
prayed in thanks at the Kotel
after so many years believing
they “didn’t merit” a child—
the weather nice, reasonably
warm for October.

Bradley Shaw z''l aka Pansy Bradshaw Selfie ©2014

Bradley Shaw z”l
aka Pansy Bradshaw
Selfie ©2014

                                 At the light
rail stop an angry man turned
the wheel and sped his car
into people waiting.

The three-month old girl
sprang into the air when
the car her stroller struck.
But she did not land—
only her clothes fell down
like white, dropped petals
on the table-cloth.

An old man-nanny
fell for her, in Montana
I think it was. His body
collapsed to earth. His
spirit grabbed hers. He
carried her into the sky
as his brain bled for her.

Digital art from Michael Dickel-selfie by Pansy Bradshaw ©2014 Bradley Shaw z''l

“appwerk” from selfie I sent Pansy z”l
Digital art by Pansy Bradshaw ©2014

He turned blue, grew
wings and flew—a
violin under his chin.
A goat standing on
the roof of a yellow
shed saw.

           A small red bird
rested on his shoulder,
the air filled with color—
speckled bubbles,
sefirot of an artist’s
imagination contracting
and expanding to burst.

The weather was nice
for October and his love
for children too great to let
her fall. It was the only
thing that he could do,
one last painting that
he wanted to give you.

"kafka past warhol..." ©2014 Pansy Bradshaw z''l

“kafka past warhol…”
©2014 Pansy Bradshaw z”l

Bradley Shaw, aka Pansy Bradshaw was a writer and artist—I had published his poetry as co-editor of Voices Israel (36) 2010 and participated in a project where he did his “appwerk” art with a selfie I sent him (shown higher up in this blog). He worked as a nanny to make his living. I’d met him briefly once when visiting our mutual friend, gary lundy, in Dillon, MT, but most of our friendship came through email and FaceBook. He died 23 October 2014, after collapsing and suffering a brain hemorrhage. This poem is for Pansy’s memory, and for gary as he grieves the loss of his friend, his love. The photo and “appwerk” / artwork on this page are copyrighted—©2014 Bradley Shaw / Pansy Bradshaw—with rights reserved for his estate and may not be copied or reproduced without express permission of his estate. Chaya Zissel Braun, a 3-month old infant, was killed on 22 October 2014, when a Palestinian resident of East Jerusalem drove his car into people waiting at a light rail stop near East Jerusalem. 

Mourner’s Kaddish

The following is a Jewish prayer (Pansy was Jewish), in Aramaic, said by those mourning to memorialize the dead. Its text praises and celebrates Creation and does not mention death or an after world. It does ask that the Creator make Peace for the world.

Mourner's Kaddish

Mourner’s Kaddish
Click image
for English transliteration and translation

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6 Comments

Filed under Poetry

6 responses to “Yesterday—a poem of remembrance

  1. Jim Breeden

    What a tender poem, with a lot of heart. I knew Pansy when we worked together a A Different Light Bookstore in San Francisco. He was a queer man full of contradictions, embracing many religions and sexual freedoms. He graced (conducted) the service when my lover, Jeff, died in ’91, transforming the garden into something sacred. And he was my muse, encouraging my creativity, always supportive. Though it’s cliche, Pansy really did live fully. He embraced life with such joy. I’ll always feel grateful how he has graced my life. It saddens me that he has died so young.
    Jim Breeden

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ray Russ

    Thank you for that lovely tribute. Pansy was a dear friend and confidant of mine when we lived in San Francisco. He was a friend, roommate, partner-in-crime and pole star. I could write a tome about our adventures together during the time of HIV/AIDS here in San Francisco. I only wish that all of us could sit around have have a salon style story fest about all that he was and all that he did both in and adjacent to our lives. My life is diminished in his passing.

    He knew me as Barbie-Jesus Exxon Valdez Marilyn Kennedy…. Jones

    But you can call me Ray.
    (precambrian at gee mail dot com)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your poem touched me too. Lovely tribute

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sara

    Your poem reached New Zealand.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Kate

    A beautiful tribute. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

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