In Memory of Linda Crane

linda opera 2 (2)

Linda Crane performing her opera. Photo courtesy of Kent Bowker



We are watching Linda flicker

between living and dying

frail, morphine fogged she reclines

in her hospital bed at the head of the stairs

planning her new kitchen cabinets.

Her smile is for us to see

to say she accepts our love.

She’s the shaman sometimes, or not

the force is dimmed the light remains

clear sometimes, her poetry seems

to have been written.


Do we grieve, or celebrate

the planned on positive future.

We will celebrate today for tomorrow

none can see longer than this

she is thinning each week

her smile broadens across her thin cheeks

wider each week it seems

as her faith belays our fearful

expectation, her strength flickering

each day toward tomorrow.



The poet has become bird

light, translucent reaching up

the presence of invisible wings

golden, radiant in the faith in nature

there is no betrayal, no flinching

no crying, the bear stalks about

the spirit cave containing her

We can’t see these as we sulk

about in the shadow of our fears.


The Crane dances with the snake

overland to rippling waters

of the mother’s fecund ocean

we travel in the lower world to

seed the ending start beginning

her drum beat leads the passage

of the teacher, of her living

power animal, to come to

the lady of grace, Mary.


“Barnard’s windows open into life

a hard cold thing inside me melts.

I can see all the beauty within

the violet iridescence of light

sliding past the dread night sweat

I call for help as the stream

is strong at the crossing. Weak in fear

stroke with me together

at this crossing I am afraid.


“I can see the crossing, that is my job

come help me stroke, share these berries

the spring sweetness, the taste of life.”


Kent Bowker 6/18/2000




ashes to sea

Friends watch Linda Crane’s ashes scattered from Halibut Point.  Photo courtesy of Kent Bowker

On casting Linda’s ashes into the sea

at Halibut Point,


Linger the sound of our hearts,

beating, sad, deep and slow.

Remember the circle of hands

the touch rippling one to another.

Remember the sea wind shine

illuminating our emotion,

gulls overhead cawing,

hard lucent shore rocks.


Linger the sound of the sea,

linger the tears and sorrow,

as the slow drum beats.

All of us will eventually come

to this hard chiseled space,

a quarry for pavers and headstones

the place where her soul’s ashes reside,

floating, leaving and returning on the tide.


Kent Bowker 6/1/2015 (from 7/9/2000)



Kent Bowker

Kent Bowker  started with poetry at Berkeley in the Fifties, then became a physicist working mainly in optics.  His new book of poems is Katharsis: Sifting Through a Mormon Past.  He lives in Essex, next to the Great Marshes and is treasurer of the Charles Olson Society.

One thought on “In Memory of Linda Crane

  1. ‘knowing you
    have to’
    cross and that perhaps
    this water will be heaven be-
    fore any of us
    is home

    From Linda’s volume ‘Sea Birds” which I had the great privilege to have printed and published and from which I am continually learning, being one of so very many whose lives have been touched deeply by her great spirit.


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