Poem In Loving Memory of Glenda Cornwall


My very good college friend, Pat Ballantyne (from nearly 30 years ago) told me the sad news of Glenda’s passing in a personal message on Facebook near the end of August (2019) and suggested that I might write a few lines remembering Glenda, a fellow philosophy student (at North Staffs Poly) and Pat’s lifelong friend who lived in Rugely. The poem presented here is my memory of her, and my tiny tribute to a very kind and beautiful human being…




Morning near the End of August


(for Trevor, Pat, et alia)


When I think of Glenda, only laughter

comes to mind, as I recall the many times

(over half a lifetime ago) we shared


a Black Velvet or Diamond White

in the student refectory before

and after class. We must’ve thought


then we were quite invincible, and certainly

more street, or savvy than our fellows.

Now we can only dream you back


but our memories are young as ever,

young as you always appeared

with your energy and aquamarine eyes.


Old as we are, wise words are nothing

but bits of dust, debris of spider’s webs,

the dust of life, and we professors


of arachnids come here now to dig

the living earth, and anoint you before

your next journey to the stars.


Our words are used for so many things

but now we must use them to say

‘farewell.’ Your shadow passes across


the window, and we’re grieving,

but there are so many words for grief.

Grief belongs to each one of us alone,


each one reaching out beyond our limits

waiting for the leaves to turn, stirring

silent as moths in the night air –


nothing solid as we thought it might be.




© Mark A. Murphy