maia penfold | instructions to my son


The day will come
Not for an expensive box
Dropped into a hole in the ground
Covered up with dirt

My choice is cremation
Fire and flame
Down to clean ash
Sharp bits of bone

In Colorado or Oregon
Climb a convenient mountain
To a seaward rushing stream
Put me in its mountain music
And let me go

To join with everything


I’m sending this to my entire literary email list. Some of you, perhaps most of you, will not know who Maia Penfold was. Some of you knew her as Gerda Penfold. But she was a poet of extraordinary power and joy, sadly overlooked in the publishing world. Maia died this morning, Tuesday, April 16th, after over a decade of debilitating poor health and excruciating pain. Here is a poem she wrote that is included in her collected poems, The Red Buddha, Hcolom/Vagabond Press. John Bennett

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