2009: Part Three: The Poet

At the end of January, 2009, I take this photo of poet Thomas Devaney, from whom one of my favorite poems comes.Thomas is a former professor of mine, and an expert on Poe. I think that’s why I love this photo so much, because there is Thomas, and there is Edgar, all in one photo.

My favorite poem by Thomas Devaney? Obi Wan Kenobi, of course:

Obi-Wan Kenobi

for Ted Casterline

Toward the end of his life Obi-Wan Kenobi was like an old cat.
He was like, Cut the pomp and circumstance and show me the couch.
The rebels had gone off without him, his planet a backwater of the known worlds.
It was hard enough to do the little things – get a decent hair cut, mend his sandals.
He understood this trick for longer than he’d like to remember,
That it’s the little things: good haircut, comfortable shoes that really keep you going.
And in another 120 years, if anyone remembered,
He didn’t want to be known as the “long-haired broken-sandaled Kenobi.”

120 years of tough love can put some ideas into your head.
Sure, he could have as much sky as there is to take, but he’s still not above the petty-
The pens and pencils of existence, as he calls them,
He makes the Red juice from concentrate and drinks it all morning,
Says his “May the force be with you,” old man prayers-
Then back to his pens, pencils, faintly ignorant of the window and the others
Thinking, the old giants can’t turn their ships around fast enough.
Today, the pang of a long gone love’s swarmed over him-invisible-
like sand ants on a crater.
Today he notices his sandals, made of Taun-taun or possibly even Bantha,
are beat and in great need of mending.
He’ll get them mended – It’s a half day’s journey.
He’ll take leave, traveling light-
The sand ants are clambering in song and dance.

Tom Devaney
March 1998