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

self-delusion.

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

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