Thursday, March 3, 2016

We lost a big one today

Piers Hayes, our village maitre d' and man of the house at the Snug died today.  This came out:


So many of us never had a name
when we walked through the door of the snug
but it was all the same to him;
he knew that you 
would always respond if he just called you “Blue"

He was a blue eyed charmer
a maitre d' for a whole community
a casual character that buzzed like bee
from table to table, knitting together strangers
with his self-deprecating humour
but with a laser focus on what he could do
to make the world a little less blue.

I heard him once tell the story 
of how he left the azure skies of Africa
and shipped his family on the turquoise sea
and for years they saw every colour it could be - 
the greys and greens and dark blue deep
storm tossed and washed in adventure
held in the currents that carried them between continents.

He never entered quietly
But he blew into a room
like a Salish Sea southeasterly
or hollered out hellos and bellowed greetings
from behind the bar, meeting
each customer as a friend,
tending tender connections

The day he died, the rain was steely grey.
As if the blue had seeped out of the sea and the sky
and pierced every heart that broke and every soul that cried
with the news that he was gone.
He left us stories and affection
and a recognition that we will always remember
how we belong.

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