John.jpgGod was sparing no expense,
Pulling out all the stops.
This was a landmark,

John Richards,
Intellectual Extraordinaire,
Confined to the earthly plane,
For now,
Was born fifty years ago

His brightness of spirit,
His lightness of soul
Cried out for celebration,
But even these words
Were too dense to describe his essence.

John, merely being John, was enough
To encourage men, women and children,
Dogs and cats, mice and gerbils
To crack out their kazoos and penny whistles
In a barnyard symphonic event.

Heaven was abuzz,
Lightening and thunder were on tap,
Sun rays were burnished,
Comets redirected to linger over
John’s back yard.
And rainbows, oh yes, spectral wonders
Dripping with wishes waiting to be fulfilled.

Golden chariots overflowing with
Priceless collections
Speaking of every artistic age,
Chiming in each mode of refinement.
Fine-tuned to herald in its Era.
Clamoring to be heard.
“We’re ready.”

Colonial pocket bottles nestled in the folds
Of peonied silk kimono.
Tiffany lamps protectedly wrapped in
Goblin tapestry.
The Art Deco, cheek to cheek with Mid-century Modern.
Post-Impressionism hugging Washington Color School veils.
A Warhol tart nestling on a Mapplethorpe bum.

Trend upon trend
The best of the best,
Exclusive choices
And all God’s gifts for John.

As a last minute precaution
God summoned him and asked,
“John, What do you really want,
I mean really want for your Day.”

As always, generous with his gifts,
God gave John the right to keep
Or confer his
Bounty of glories. But you never knew
With John, always capitalizing on surprises.

‘John replied, out of the blue,
“Gifts I have aplenty.
And You’ve given me
An intuitive sense of style and
Unquenchable eclectic longing.
I treasure deeply.”

“But one more wish is all I ask,
The answer to the universal question,
What is truth,
What is beauty”

“Hum, that’s a tall order, even for, Me,
Your God.
Might take another 50 years to work out.”

With that they shared a syncopated grim.
Locked arms,
In a jolly mood and
ambled down the street to their
Favorite Dive Bar
For a drink or several.
Exploring one another’s agile brains.

“That answer might have to wait
Till John’s 100th, which
Would come soon enough.
But for now, the fun is in the search,
An endless pursuit
Never,” God said,


Charlene James-Duguid
Amissville, Virginia
August 14, 2020