I met Al Fulton many years ago before he contracted cancer, the same cancer, prostate, which also afflicted me and millions of other men starting to age. Al's PSA sky rocketed and he died, mine after an operation, subsided and I lived on. I often thought it could have gone the other way around and these thoughts were exchanged between us often awkwardly seeking proper words. Al chose Hospice for his final days and, I too, have directed my family to do the same when my time comes.
This poem, Big Al, was my simple attempt to put in words my feeling for him, a man I can call a friend for life, so for those yet living closure can come to the deceased and life can go on for the rest of us. Words are really inadequate to reformulate a person's life but, in order to transfer thoughts and feelings held within, words written down are able to be a lasting remembrance of a person now gone.
in Memory Of James Albert Fulton
"... few adult persons can see nature." Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote in his essay on Nature, then he followed with, "There is a property in the horizon which no man has but whose eye can integrate all of the parts..." Al Fulton saw, Al saw all of the parts.
Uphill half hidden an A-Frame stands
Among Century Oaks straight and tall,
Tree strength drawn from rock and earth,
Cathedral canopies brace for winds of fall.
Downhill open fields make a western slope
So many years planted, spring love, fall hope.
You steward of the soil, the Earth Life Man,
Elixir for roots, champion God's Grand Plan.
Once you were so very straight and tall,
Strong with energy, at Nature's every call,
You are returned today back to the soil
Ashes to be spread on the love of your toil.
Ronald C. Downie