The Penfield Press, January 13, 1972; To the Editor
The following poem was written and sent to us by a dear friend, Jo Fonte, and because it says so beautifully what is in our hearts we would like to share it with you, as a memoriam to our son, Peter.
I came to interview a man called Peter
Poised on the threshold
Of what the world calls stardom…
And I forgot
The first rule of journalism:
How [to] be objective
When confronted with a spirit
So deeply bound to Everyman?
Whose brethren’s pain became his own heartache
Whose burden he took
Upon his own shoulders
Whose fears he drove about his own body
Like a mantle,
Heavy and somber and dark.
Quixotic in his thirst
For the quenching of a world aflame.
With the impatience of youth.
With an empathy
Unique in the scope of its embracing,
Unmoved by the reiterated echoings
Of an older generation which accepted
The waiting of the next sun’s rising,
When the need is yesterday.
A young stallion,
Champing at a restraining bit
To stamp out the seeds of inequality and injustice
Of prejudice and hatred
Into the barren earth
Before they drew and bore, like a dragon’s teeth
More seeded fruit.
And in the Galahad light
Behind the magic lantern of his eyes,
I recognized a soul who truly loved
On his mote in God’s eye,
This planet, Earth.
But the story I wrote
Was not about the man with a vision
For who can bring such unearthly dreams to life
From the “womb of an electric typewriter.”
It was a trite story,
A hometown-boy-makes-good story,
A so-what-else-is-new story,
An I’m not-proud-of-it story.
For how could I paint,
With words and plea type,
The portrait of a spirit
Free to soar to outer limits
To the rock of brotherhood.
The real story of a man named Peter?
I should have written thus:
Peter is loving,
Peter is loved,
Peter is love.
Pam and Geoff join with us in our prayers that, in some way, all of the wonderful friends who gave so freely of their love at a time when we needed it so much, will feel the love that we are feeling for them.
Sincerely and gratefully,
Lillian and Bob Deuel