Ned Condini – Ave Atque Vale

An arrogant offering to a superior – and a friend – who passed away on May 12th. A rare poem offered to the spirit of one who was a consummate poet. Dos voydonya, Ned. Good bye.



You made allusions to lost Gods
over cups of NesCafe
in rural coffee shops.

Your eyes never failed to smile.

There were moments when
the wrong word
made you wince,

but the right one made your soul sing.

The rest of us, lost children,
prayer books in hand
looked to you

for the pronunciation of Elysium.

But you were one of us too.

You loved your Micia
and your Marilyn,
the truth self

evident in the gracefulness of your shrug.

You spoke the vernacular
and the vulgate even
as you thought

in glorious septet, sextet, and hexameter.

You shared our jokes with
us even when we were
the joke, a cosmic

amuse, an aperitif in Life’s banquet.

In talent and talents, coin
and culture, you stood
above us but you

never failed to stoop down and aid

us in our struggles and vainglorious dreams.
Goodbye, Ned, dos voydonya,
and yes, Ave Atque Vale.
Hail, and farewell.

We will see you in E-lee-see-um.
Your friend for too short a space,





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