In Memoriam Daniel Pearl (b. 1963 d. 2002)
Inviolate the sadness that we feel
Today, together, who have faced the fact
That yea, the world is cruel; cruelty is real
As we have known; but mostly men enact
The cruelty and perverted shames that have
Grown up within the heart. Can there be one
That is not moved, that one should meet his grave
In awful circumstance, and so alone?
Yet, though we mourn the death as mourn we do,
’Tis best to focus our attention on
The life as lived, and celebrate, renew
Our faith in one another: we’ll be done
With mourning at the close of life that each
Must face alone, though if God wills it, under
Happier circumstance when we do reach
That fatal juncture--though it makes one wonder
Is there a happy death? Perhaps some few,
But mostly happy deaths are only born
Of life well lived, and in this very sphere
The man we mourn, from living rudely torn,
Excelled, and sets example for us here.
For he was kind, and gentle, and sincere,
Beloved husband, soon to be a father,
Beloved son and friend, beloved brother,
Beloved colleague well-esteemed by many,
Respected and admired, without any
Trace of superbia or arrogance,
That fell into a hapless circumstance.
We mourn the man, but let us, while we say
“He shouldn’t have met death this way,” or else
“He deserved better,” let us not betray
Ourselves to thinking this death takes away
The value of a life profoundly lived.
Together people come, bereaved ones gather
To celebrate and to commemorate
The life that is not with us (for his soul
Is surely near, not least within the heart
Of each of us, that were not rendered whole
Without his presence there); thus must all hate
Be banished as we try to love each other.
Loving is not an easy task, yet it
Is something from which he did never quit,
Love of humanity, and striving to
Better communication between cultures.
That this goodheartedness, this altruism
Was taken advantage of, and was exploited,
Is something we must rue--that there are vultures
So godless as to perpetrate a crime
In furtherance of ends which now must be
Rendered as illegitimate, this we
Must see as yet another cause to rue--
Yet overwhelmingly we must accept
That love which warmly shone in him sublime
Is now in each one here uniquely kept
As light refracted through an angel’s prism.
Daniel we hardly knew ye. He arrived
Unto the gates of heaven, and this quells
Our grief perhaps a little, for we know
That we may see each other later on
If heaven’s blessing falls to us. For we
Must not despair, must not resort to anger
Or rabid thirst for vengeance in this time,
For so the world has been replete with danger
That knows no sheltered season, place or clime.
All is uncertainty, yet this we know
That when he in through heaven’s gates did go
Heaven perhaps have gained a matchless pearl,
While here on earth, that have been left, bereft,
That have been left to try to heal the cleft
Now springing betwixt man and man, we must
Within our little span from dust to dust,
Love and preach love, and watch events unfurl.