He is much too vital to be slowly dying.
Skin translucent, he shines like an ocean beacon
pointing to the future; guiding our little thoughts
into larger visions; teaching us what he loves.

In the great loneliness of solitary pain
he moves like a statue suddenly brought to life.
Making the most of time, he seems fragile as glass.
Poet, mystic, teacher, do not abandon us!

He gives without ceasing all he has learned and more,
all that he knows and how, all that he is and why.
He stands on the mountain calling us to follow.
The future eludes him.  We all will share his death.

Approaching weightlessness, he floats above our heads
as his soul says farewell to all the loves of life.
We cannot hold him back.  Dancing above the light,
he slips away from us, running toward forever.

©1988 Dorothy Miller Gutenkauf

In Memoriam: Mike Harrington, whose autobiography was titled “The Long Distance Runner”