Paul by Suzanne Belote Shanley

RIP Paul Hood, co-founder of Ailanthus, key influence on the founding of Agape.  Feature in next issue.

Your essence

is blue jean,

frail denim.

your jacket,

an emblem,

you wear like a second skin,

the first left in a foxhole

in Okinawa.

Shining rebirth, you fled

those booze-beguiling fantasies

of the good life into

those denim arms.

thread-thin cuffs.

The fabric of your alchemy

is cloth,

patches sewn

over suburban slick


Your silver eyes,

needle sharp,

stitched together the

fallen hem of fear.

You smoothed your

corduroy collar

against the throat

of things eternal.

You’ve become

your best metaphor:

a “remnant”

your soul’s threads

trembling towards

the light. 

Excerpt from Ailanthus flier, 1979

“I’m 53, make my living as a carpenter/painter, a father and a grandfather, fought as a Marine rifleman in Okinawa in WWII, have become a Quaker; am committed to live cooperatively with others in ways that take away the occasion of war and turn the tide toward