It hit me–slowly at first, then hard–Real hard
He was a man who spoke and penned what he pleased.
Mightily he ate, and drank, the best of cuisine and alcohol.
As if to measure fullness by taking all around him inward.
A poet with lines loosened from living hard and thinking soft
A man that cared for his friends and the similar creatures of the earth.
The outdoors was his altar and his desk his pew.
He grumbled at pretentiousness and found little interest in what others thought of him
And further, had no need for the elite’s approval of his unearthed descriptions
He lived hard as if to test the length of the pleasures he so enjoined.
He spoke of thoughts held by the beleaguered and less fortunate.
He magnetized a writer such as myself. Leaving me without doubt–to write
Jim Harrison’s voice resonated with we who need to call a spade a dirty shovel.
The humor of the human condition, was magnified by his vision of our foibles.
I felt his declared impulses, and knew I had to show my own internal vibrations.
In his early years he paid the price to write–as if the oath of poverty was his mantra.
The luminaries found him and made his Legends of the Fall–his own beginning Legend.
This was the beginning and opening of his cabin cupboard of now famous works.
He was blunt and took all of life with a penchant for living mightily.
He swallowed life whole and without regret, which only his pen could describe for us.
He died at his desk, and fell as gravity demands.
But with his pen in hand for what I suspect might be a story in the making
Jim Harrison declared that he did not have a need to be understood nor approved of.
What strength in that–What freedom that allowed him to write and please us so.
He was a poet, when that seemed to the Western mind, different.
Mr. Harrison, the uncommon man, with the common understandings–sans pretension
He turned the words, as if he knew primordial man.
I felt he died with an inkling, an idea of awakening with desk and pen at the ready.
Seemingly knowing what all men have thought, even before a larynx could declare.
I feel, like I am missing him more than the average gruff bear
We all get a turn. That is a given.
But few with his imaginative inertia.
Like a vigorously spinning top that expends itself, he tipped over and left us.
But I will miss that wild unrepentant spirit.
But that is still here, in my library, which will last longer than me.
Enjoy your next chapter Jim in the cosmos filled with imagination.
Know you left us better for what you knew and imagined.
Yes, I am sad. But it is a sweet sad.
It is something to realize you might be writing without any sense of gravity.