Serving House: A Journal of Literary Arts
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SHJ Issue 14
Spring 2016


by Sarah B. Marsh-Rebelo

You unfolded us like a priceless old book,
Tender with the pages. You lived to teach,
To feel every moment of life.
Energy pulsed from each stitch of your hand-woven
Woolly maroon winter sweater when you entered a room.
You questioned decisions made by politicians
Intrigued us with your interpretation of the Universe.

In your poem “Passing Thru” you say
“How strange it is to be here at all talking to you like this in a poem,
if just for a single brief instant—two spirits momentarily touching.”

You are gone now. In your sleep I heard.

You leave us devoid of your raucous laughter,
Your infectious joie de vivre.
Who else could rework a line until it hummed
Like the Tibetan singing bowl on the corner of my desk?
I strike it in memory of you. Feel it vibrate through my heart chakra.
Sit in stillness to honor you.

In my little room, lit by long windows
Open to the fingers of afternoon sun
Your books sit in a neat row on a shelf under K.
I lift them one by one,
Each heavy with the weight of your righteously lived life,
Place them next to a white and yellow orchid in an Oriental basket.
They balance one another well the Yin and the Yang.

You wrapped us up in your love of life,
Taught us how to tease a line, place it on the page.
Bereft of your humor, the teddy bear hugs
You leave us with hungry minds, all the better for knowing you.
Forever grateful for the difference you made.


—From “Steve Kowit Tribute” in Blue Vortex Publishers (7 September 2015); appears here with author’s permission

SHJ Issue 14
Spring 2016

Sarah B. Marsh-Rebelo

grew up in London and, at the age of 21, immigrated to the United States. She now resides in California and Cornwall, England with her husband John and two cats, Leopold Bloom and Tse Wa (Tibetan for compassion). She has studied Yoga from the age of seventeen, earned an MFA in Creative Writing from San Diego State University, and trained as an instructor in the Amherst Writers Method. Her poems have been published in journals and anthologies such as The Avocet, Perigee Magazine, Foothill: A Journal of Poetry and San Diego Poetry Annual among others. Her first book of poetry, Over My Shoulder, was released in 2013 by Montezuma Publishing.

“...we have been born here to witness and celebrate. We wonder at our purpose for living. Our purpose
is to perceive the fantastic. Why have a universe if there is no audience?” — Ray Bradbury