In Memoriam: My Friend Karl Pohrt 1947-2013

My  dear friend Karl died on July 10th 2013, and this Gary Snyder poem was read out at his memorial service today, and though not explicitly about conflict, it does say something profound that can center us in the everyday swirl of life, to help us to be mindful in conflict, as in everything else. Thanks for all the books Karl; they inspired much of this blog. I will miss you:

Waiting For A Ride

June 30, 2008

Standing at the baggage, passing time:

Austin, Texas, airport–my ride hasn’t come yet.

My former wife is making Web sites from her home,

one son’s seldom seen,

the other and his wife have a boy and girl of their own.

My wife and stepdaughter are spending weekdays in town

so she can get to high school.

My mother, ninety-six, still lives alone and she’s in town, too,

always gets her sanity back just barely in time.

My former former wife has become a unique poet;

most of my work,

such as it is, is done.

Full moon was October 2nd this year,

I ate a mooncake, slept out on the deck,

white light beaming through the black boughs of the pine,

owl hoots and rattling antlers,

Castor and Pollux rising strong–

it’s good to know that the polestar drifts!

That even our present night sky slips away;

not that I’ll see it.

Or maybe I will, much later,

some far time walking the spirit path in the sky,

that long walk of spirits–where you fall right back into the

“narrow painful passageway of the Bardo”

squeeze your little skull

and there you are again

waiting for your ride

–Gary Snyder




About creativeconflictwisdom

I spent 32 years in a Fortune Five company working on conflict: organizational, labor relations and senior management. I have consulted in a dozen different business sectors and the US Military. I work with a local environmental non profit. I have written a book on the neuroscience of conflict, and its implications for conflict handling called Creative Conflict Wisdom (forthcoming).
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2 Responses to In Memoriam: My Friend Karl Pohrt 1947-2013

  1. louploup2 says:

    My condolences on the loss of a true friend.

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