David Budbill, Poet

A few years back, I packed up my manuscript and mailed it across the river to a poet I’d read for years but didn’t know. The poet read my manuscript, emailed me, drove up my icy back road, and had tea with me. My house has many doors, and he came in the back door – the practical one, where I carry in firewood and store cardboard boxes of canning jars. The poet, David Budbill, was not perturbed at all by stepping over domestic clutter.

I am but one among many, many, many who received David’s largesse of heart and generosity. The true midwife of my book, he wrote me that it was “very important” not to let any of my grit be watered down now. Do not cave in, he insisted, to any demands to ameloriate what is hardest, rawest, most true, and beautiful in my writing. He, himself, exemplified this advice in his work.

I’ve cherished his wisdom, as a writer and a woman, like an amulet. May I someday return the favor to another, in gratitude to David.

David Budbill, poet of lust and life. Travel well, crossing over into the next realm.

…The sky is empty. The birds are gone.
Dark. Darker still. And winter coming on.

The sky steals light from both ends of the day.

Four o’clock. Almost dark.

Roy McInnes closes the doors of doors
and stands for a moment in the evening
watching streams of commuters going home,
then he turns and goes home….

And winter coming on.

Providential Kindness, bless us.
Bless all souls alive in Judevine,
and bless the ghosts.

Give us Benediction.

– David Budbill, Judevine