Norm Dodge, SJ – d. May 2, 2020 – 7:08 p.m.

The low-slung, loose-sprung chair
I sat in to tell my soul to you
in your Ottawa upper room
long preceded your death and dump
in a double-lined bodybag 
plus on top a morgue sheet to complete
the mound of plastic you've quickly
become since selling out
your ample land to Covid,
the rapacious developer
that keeps clearing all the woods
and parks of our childhoods.

Quaint I'm sure they were,
my little struggles and wherefores
brought to your enormous ears,
elephantine in size
and no less in wise rememberance.

If God has a voice, 
it must be a choir of many parts,
and when I listen for the bass
your deep steadiness is what speaks
straight into my hearing.

Much to our surprise,
death seems to be easier
than what any of us thought.
Is that you right now
in the distant freight train drone
singing that the same holds true for life?

Greg Kennedy, SJ is assigned to the spiritual exercises ministry at the Ignatius Jesuit Centre in Guelph, Ontario. Novalis will publish Greg's book - “Reupholstered Psalms” - on March 1, 2020.

  • Nancy
    Posted at 06:24h, 05 May Reply

    Our condolences I too will miss his beautiful aura and gift of patience

  • Michelle Mahoney
    Posted at 07:35h, 05 May Reply

    A very wise, insightful and thought provoking poem. Thank you, Greg. God bless you and all Jesuit community who continue to share and give example in these difficult times. With Love and ongoing prayer.

  • Maria Way
    Posted at 09:34h, 05 May Reply

    Greg, this was very touching — keep well and safe,

  • Lisa Calzonetti
    Posted at 09:49h, 05 May Reply

    absolutely beautiful my brother.

  • Chantal Balthazar
    Posted at 10:21h, 05 May Reply

    Thank you for this beautiful poem. Our love and prayers are with you and your community at these difficult times.

  • Grace Colella
    Posted at 11:27h, 05 May Reply

    How very beautiful this poem is!

  • Susan Tomenson
    Posted at 11:40h, 05 May Reply

    Many thanks, Greg, for sharing our picture and your thought-provoking
    You can tell by the picture how fond we were of Norm.
    I first met Norm on JP’s Pilgrimage to Spain. I will always remember sitting and praying with Norm at the edge of the Cardoner River in Manresa. I also was in Jerusalem with Norm. What a wonderful companion pilgrim – so gentle and prayerful.
    We have another saint in heaven.
    My prayers are with you, Greg and all the Jesuit Comminity.
    We will all miss Norm so much but have such happy memories.
    Bye for now-Susan

  • John Meehan SJ
    Posted at 11:58h, 05 May Reply

    Thank you, Greg, for a beautiful and touching tribute to a great and generous soul.

  • Alana Forrester
    Posted at 12:16h, 05 May Reply

    Didn’t know him but feel for the loss of your wise sd.

  • Dorothy & Dennis Galon
    Posted at 14:06h, 05 May Reply

    Greg, what a wonderful tribute to a former director,
    from a young and brilliant director of souls.

  • Sylvia Skrepichuk
    Posted at 14:09h, 07 May Reply

    Thanks Greg, for your gift of poetry. The Jesuits have suffered so many deaths over the past week. I pray for the recovery of the other residents and for the health of all of you who have offered to become care takers of the ill.

Post A Comment

Subscribe to igNation

Subscribe to receive our latest articles delivered right to your inbox!