They raise their hands, beautiful hands, Hands that have known labor, have kneaded, Have created, have loved and been loved. Praying to the creator, a creator, Mother Nature, "End the storms. Save our brethren." And the clouds tower above them like city towers. From plenty, they sense the devastation, the need. Politicians storm the fortresses for a picture. They shout, "We are here with your relief." Paper towels tossed into a crowd who wish for Water, food, medicine, jobs, homes. The cleanup has begun, with a single roll of paper. Beautiful minds are shocked at the blatant Lack of care. The victims are brown, black, and white. They are a colorful mosaic, whirled and swirled by wind. Voices come through the air, the web, the functions of of which convey disbelief, horror, future action. But for luck, there walk we in similar straits. Caring is call to action. Share, share alike, give. From coast to island to coast the storms remain. You only have a short time to build. Build. A legacy is formed by the footsteps you leave. I step in my ancestors steps. "Here is a broom, I will sweep. A mop, I will scrub. Soap to wash.. The bitter taste of anguish, in the mouths. Eyes that Pierce though miles away. Stories that will be told to Grandchildren, of the great storm, of a roll of paper tossed.
Translate my pain into inspiration.
A grief that turns my heart to sterling,
A metal that will not leave me stranded,
A mourning that imbeds a jasper arrowhead.
He has gone, looping his words between
His memory and mine. Remaining.
Older brother of soul, teacher of order,
He had taken Valentines, paper cutouts,
Red hearts and Pink silliness,
Dark visions combating the light.
Wrapped them in cushions of unsweetened
Advice, given freely, powerful in their
Scent of citrus, their odor of sage.
Wholesome and forgiving. He listened.
Silence now that his breathing
Has erred on the side of quiet.
His heart filled with the love
A teacher has for student.
Transient as they grow, but his eternal.
I must write to find my heart again
Where I laid it out for him.
How many, many types of love there are.
So many ways taking the crystal bonds,
Which when broken remain
In our memory of precious laughter,
Honest criticism, layers upon layers of
Rebuilding. He gave these seeds to us
To plant in our inner gardens, to bloom.
Watered by tears of grief, blinked,
They will grow. Tiny green hopes, words,
Writer to writer. Clearing weeds
Nourishing plots of future dreams.
I hear his voice in the wind
Teasing me, scolding me, holding me close.
Calling me to finish what I had begun,
To love those he loved, to work, to stand
On two feet knowing he believed in us.
We must carry his gift to us,
The world’s visions, the expected literacy.
Must share our voices, must care, we must,
Even when the caring scares and scars us.
His footprints stay with us, his books,
His stories, his belief that the world
Must read, write, share and pass
The compassion of an old friend to a new.
We carry him now, heart to heart.
We will honor him by our words, soon.
But written as the storms come,
Rain beating the earth in a primal flood
As he flows away from us, following the flood
Of our sorrow. The transportation of our hearts,
Flooded and sitting now filled with salty tears.
Our memories are precious, sketch in words,
Written as the tears streak, but forming
Wary wry smiles, smiles that will not betray.
Oh the memory of those smiles, he loved us.
I will carry him with me in my pocket of life.
Filled with random pebbles, coins, a leaf,
An acorn or two, a magic ring, a fallen star.
This hole of sorrow, this well of loss,
Fill it with swords, shields, puppies
Pictures, mystery, letters, trials,
Hopes and dreams. Do not forget…
You see, I loved him.
I loved him as brother, father, friend,
Mentor, teacher, and confidant.
Bill Manville, of Sacramento, California died on Valentine’s Day 2017. He was a published author, a teacher, a traveler, radio host, copywriter, U.S. Army Veteran and dearly loved by Beverly. He ran a class on the internet called Writing to be Published. He was a well loved member of AA.
Volunteering at his local library, he ran a class on writing that was open to the public. He understood the need, the urge, to write and that writers need support at all levels of their ability. Being a gruff, loving, inspiring man, he passed the gift of what he had learned to others with an open heart. Whether the class succeeded of not, he urged them on. Revising, placing students in groups to evaluate each other, support each other, he gave us a rare gift of insight into ourselves.
He worked tirelessly in the pursuit of helping others escape the madness of addiction, remaining anonymous except for his first name. If a song represented his attitude towards others it might have been this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LjhCEhWiKXk also know as Bruno Mars “Just the Way You Are” He accepted people as they are. Truly a testament for human to be remembered as, Bill was “amazing” just the way he was. Of course you would have to change to words from girl to guy. Volunteering as a rehab clinic volunteer, he understood that by helping others he would help himself remain successful as a long-term sober recovering addict.
Celebrated as a Book of the Month author, he also worked as an editor for Cosmo, contributed columns to the Village Voice, Key West Solares Hill, The New York Daily Times and the Huffington Post. Magazine articles appear in The Fix, Cavalier Magazine, the Saturday Evening Post. He published his books through MacMillan Publishers, Duel, Sloan and Pearce, Simon and Schuster, NAL, Delacorte, Dell/Random House, BSForge Press and Tor Publishing. His works include: Cool Hip and Sober, Goodbye, Saloon Society, The Man who Left his Wife and Had a Nifty Time, Writing to Be Published, and Breaking up. He was a contributor to the fourth edition of the Alcoholics Anonymous: The Story of How many Thousands of Men and Women Have Recovered from Alcoholism (commonly called The Big Book at meetings.)
Bill also hosted a radio show, Addictions and Answers on KVML in Sonoma CA, which delved into real stories of the struggles faced by others dealing with alcohol addiction. With over forty years of research into the material he had available to him, he was able to paint a realistic picture of the process of becoming sober, something that was both a personal and social matter of importance. He believed in the process of sobering up as a lifelong purpose. One of the transcripts of a show he hosted with Dr. Dave More is available through the NYDailyNews.com, http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/parents-cope-moms-dads-turn-kids-ambien-adderall-day-article-1.1092155.
He attended the University of Pennsylvania, but graduated from Sarah Lawrence College. His next stop was the University of the Mediterranean, Nice where he explored life in all of its fullness and color. As his works were being published, he was encouraged to begin teaching. So he did. He was a member of LinkedIn where he looked for aspiring authors to take his online course.
No one can summarize the character, love, production and history on a single page and with such short notice. I have done the best I can. So a final toast: To all who aspire to sobriety or writing, we have loved him, learned from him, and will never regret that opportunity he shared with us.
You think it dusty from the surface? Try here under the centuries, waiting, Waiting for a moment when I return Made from the elements you so insult With filth and dusty growth. Wait until I arise, here from the Bench of waiting, competing, hiding. I am dirt dignified, a dragon born.
I met a friend in a photo, dear,
She didn’t know I was a friend.
I walked in her woods, saw her build smiles
From smiles over hill and dale. She held a bridge
Out to me when I was drowning.
I will build a bridge for her
To travel to and fro where the leaves
Still stand red in amazement,
Where a giant crawls from the Earth
In a great awakening.
The business men who fail to look up
Or down or around while they text,
Should look behind. For great art gives
A great gift and beauty is planted
As the winds grow cold, and winter comes.
I’ll share a moon with you to brighten your way,
Perhaps a rainbow to connect the world again
Where peace is a flower, a snowflake, a smile.
Just let it come. It’s looking for you.
Stand still, head steady.
Focus on the pitcher,
The ball will come.
Don’t worry over balls.
They weren’t for you.
Focus your eyes.
Open your eyes, larger, larger.
The mound moves.
The pitcher moves.
Slow motion, hand curving.
Eye on the ball.
One third of a second and
You can do this.