John M. Ford Sestina

He always was a man of many aspects,
Who spoke with tongues of aliens, people, angels,
Who coruscated, glorious in his time,
Whose chosen words burned through the lambent air
To warm the heart however cold the night
Whose offerings were joys we kept a-waiting.

There’ll be no more, though we are still here waiting.
He’ll never finish his last novel, Aspects.
Death like a steam-train bore him off at night,
One distant whistle to alert the angels
But no new words will here delight the air
He left too soon, he just ran out of time.

Though some said he was spendthrift of his time.
His books were late, though editors were waiting.
He frivolled erudition on the air
Shared with the world, unguarded in his aspects,
With parodies of Wodehouse, Tolkien, angels
Dancing on pins, much written late at night.

He wasted not one word, there in the darkest night,
He knew his health would hardly give him time,
And yet before he caught the train of angels
He did not wish to be his sickness, waiting.
For life was sweet to him in all its aspects,
He’d things to talk of while he still had air.

His words on some occasions rent the air.
He made the shield to hold against the night.
110 Stories‘s lines are different aspects
Are lives touched by the towers’ fall at the time
Written while most of us were speechless, waiting,
For some reaction handed us by angels.

How Much For Just the Planet, Web of Angels,
Growing Up Weightless, Princes of the Air,
From the End of the Twentieth Century, The Dragon Waiting,
Some poems, Casting Fortune, Scholars of Night,
Time Steps, Heat of Fusion, The Last Hot Time,
Three brilliant game books and a part of Aspects.

That’s all he left us, stations in the night,
Enough to make his name shine for all time,
So much, so little, and so many aspects.

6th October 2006