for Buck Harris 9/8/1929-9/7/2016

Giant of Gentleness
by Jason Tomlinson

When rage avarice and impatience are here
sides are taken and all walk in fear
and unity is replaced by crippling doubt
but it is gentleness that empties all enmity out
where courage would conquer and bravery captivate
it is gentleness that levels every odd contained in hate
nothing smooths like the unassuming presence of gentleness
nothing warms like its benevolence when everything is a mess
gentleness is welcome here wherever here may be
that’s what he brought that’s what he gave to me
may it be said of us who feel the sting of his graduated soul
may we walk as he walked in every measure whole
picking up what he left behind that we could walk through pain and stress
and humbly follow this giant of a man this titan of gentleness