At one of the Raven reunions, the following poem was given to Craig Morrison, former president of the Edgar Allan Poe society. The verse was written by Art Cornelius after the death of his friend Sam Deichelman. Unashamedly emotional, and written immediately after the loss, the knowledge that it is not the work of a poet but the heartfelt tribute of a warrior to a fallen comrade gives its words a poignant authenticity. It is now a ritual reading at Raven reunions.



A Raven's Lament

In my memory I carry
The twinkle of your eye, the delight of your laugh,
And the courage that was life, as we expected every day to die.
The red mud stuck
To our boots and tires, the dust to our bodies,
And silver wraiths of mist swirled over and around Green mountains.
Smaller men stood taller and larger than our size,
But you towered over us all, your grin, your tears,
Every orphan was your child, every life a part of yours,
When Chou held on to the thread of life,
You'd have bled for him, breathed for him,
You'd have given your life for him, if you could.
We lived each day in fire and air,
And every dawn life's croupier spun the wheel again,
And I'd have been a better friend, but I trusted time.
There never was a man more strong, more peaceful,
More fierce, more fair,
And we were all proud to love you.
Perhaps one day when the fire is out,
Green mountains will show a flash of gold,
I'll see the twinkle of your eye
And smile again

And in the irreverent tradition of the Ravens, we have the following toast.

The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away - if that's not a square deal, I'll kiss your ass.


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