1 February 2019. Berthåga Church, Uppsala, Sweden

In memory of Juris Arturs Zarins, 1944 – 2019.
Janis raising the flag to half mast on funeral day. Photo by Peters Zarins, February 2019.
Janis raising the flag to half mast on funeral day. Photo by Peters Zarins, February 2019.
I have a few words.
Juris always wrote poems.
Once he told the story of how he’d won a poetry competition when he and his his family lived in England.
“How can you write such beautiful poetry in English?” the local newspaper asked.
“I have an English typewriter,” Juris replied.
I don’t have an English typewriter.
But I do have an English pen.
And here are a few words I wrote for Juris, with that pen.

 

Words for Juris
I miss you like I would a limb.
I see you in men
of your age and shape
at work, on the street, in the stairs.
My father plays music
that reminds him of you.
I ask him to stop.
He angers me when
he won’t stop talking
about you, his brother.
He angers me when
he won’t start talking about you
his brother.
In the beginning
there was the Word.
And the Word was made Life.
For us, there was no beginning;
you were always there,
before my life began.
And you always had words
of wisdom, of humour,
of comfort and support,
and of congratulation.
We shared the Word
but now you will never
read another word that I’ve written.
A friend from work –
she’s a Christian –
said: “he’s someplace better now.”
I said: “Thank you.”
But wanted to say: “Fuck you.”
It does not help me
that you’re somewhere better
when you’re not here with me.
But through the Word
there can be life.
With my words I will write you
this loss, this love, this life.
I will honour you,
your words, your love and your life.
You always had words
of love
and now it’s through my words
that you will have life.

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