Paul Haeder, Author

writing, interviews, editing, blogging

words fail even upon the death of Arthur Condie, RIP 2019

Image result for Edinburgh Castle

missing life over a scotch
kilts and bagpipes just part
of a show, he danced for eight
decades-plus, lad who swam
Odysseus’ sea, headwinds of
Highland dew with mates
on the peloton, rubbed
hard living young
the life of Scottish men
dreaming of Route 66


slipstream of life
brings gravity to my own lift
that man was like clan
brother, there in Arizona
family visits, always
the character, song and dance
a joke for every occasion


taught me life is hope full
viewed with a big lens
parlaying hope, pleasure
he was a friend, two worlds
apart, he and I
yet weight of laughter
holds me still


he is sound recalled
Tartan vest sometimes
always dapper Arthur
life cradled in stories
misadventures turned into refined
reminiscences, boyhood rites
Edinburgh, passage
over the pond into Canada
the world his oyster then
setting adventure in Detroit
Page, Arizona, his abalone
diving off California


stories are veins
connective tissue to go forth
muscle and mind memory
worlds apart, his known
with troubadour’s gusto
‘Art tells tall tale again’
pleasure for companies
audiences, my own dispossession
pressed into service
precipice, near edge of his life


he’ll never know me
the fast and furious
departures from living
depression, hard scrabble
the flow of poetry, politics
fits of criminality, beauty
giver clan, brooding
forceful, passionate


life can be humbling
or an exit plan for pain
or celebratory
egos seem to pick
like crabs, yet his
came from the song
the edge of Bobby Burns
the antiquated, patina
locked in magical
time, he traveled with wife
they seemed stitched
together, long hauls
several life makeovers
his ending her breath seized
her forever


he’s more than distant memory
more than sum total of
last years, oh the hard years
before, when a child’s
nothing more than foreshadowing
death, life, processing who
a man is outside the shell
of civility, outside the pomp
Art displayed, the truth of it
he seemed alive and unreal
at times, yet his survival
holds like flashes of scenes
inside this poet graying
movie reels light
shadow action


I never know
which particle of life
stays hardened like calcium
how the brain is magical
dark into light
harsh into buoyancy
or a relationship, man to boy
then man to man
old man to man
here I sit, old man
some say, six decades
only, the light of recall
is as bright as that teen
or boy, Art juggling humor
style, grace, aplomb
insanity in a comic way


lessons can be retraced
death like a huge wind
whipping up sands
waves crashing
until a fog sets in
one with oneself
heavy air bringing
forth almost hologram
vision of the man alive
he’s always young again
penetrating my own aging
his vitality, young
with new stories
the boy, me, learning
tricks of memory


Scotland the Brave, maybe
this Arthur, though, deeply
felt even as vitality
scabs over into the last
breath of sagging man
he is what I hope all good
can be – a breath held
silent memory
opened palms
a jig or two
over brown ale
his reminiscing
defining me more
than a man I called
brother, uncle, friend
what a ‘character’ indeed.

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