Neil Gaiman says:

Neil Gaiman says:
pic by Allan Amato

Monday, October 31, 2016

For Alan Salvin

Alan Gordon Salvin November 14, 1954 - October 25, 2016

Rain smeared windshield,
Grey streaks running down
And my forehead is throbbing with that
As the skies drench and mist,
Spreading sodden leaves around my feet.

Limping down a moist sidewalk,
Not hurrying
Not rushing to greet that

The building crouched
At the corner; a white thug of concrete,
Weighty and opulent, yet
This is where the stammered hellos
And final
Good-bye happens.

The doors cradle a hushed entryway,
The wood; real oak,
The brass polished,
The greeter,
Somber in her suit; it is her job
To steer the stumbling mourner within,
To make sure
That everyone knows

The room is the same
Every time.
There are clumps of people;
Friends who know,
Family in staggered, staring shock,
Numbly gripping hands,
As eyes glaze with reddened, endless tears,
Trying not to look away.

There are hushed, gossiped quips and murmured ‘sorries’
There are short notes of quiet pain,
Turning on the spit,
There is the book,
The scrawls of “I Was Here” -
No restaurant reviews or art show gushing praises,
Just your name,
To say
You came.

And she
Not there,
Sequestered in a warm, small room,
Arms holding the shaking shoulders, family,
A knot between the Outside
And within.
Arms tightening, holding,
No words suffice,
For the impossibility
Of his death.

They go?
A child cradled,
Taught to walk and
Nurtured, the breath wafting over the kindled
The joy of Flight
The passion of sound,
The endless talks,
The smile,
The twinkle in those eyes,
The vibrant brain curled within that skull,
Now over,
The twinkle

They go on?
The mourners, clustered in drab greys, blacks and sallow beige,
Shuffling before the powder blue coffin,
The picture of him; looking smiling into your face,
Saying ‘I am Here’ ‘I live’ ‘I breathe’ ‘I see’,
And impossibly

I can’t—

Every end table is furnished with
Necessary boxes of tissues,
Every other table,
A carafe of coffee,
For those who need to
Keep their hands

And the monitor flicks through pictures
Of a young man’s life,
The outdoors, the lake, nature –
Music, the strummed thrum of reverberant sound,
The endless joy of variation
The exploration and hunger
To feed that passionate soul.
The quiet pictures flicker
And the mourners stand in awkward semi-circles,
Half talking, half watching,
Wishing they were there,
For any other reason
Than this.

This last goodbye,
To someone
Who should not be

Suzanne Marsden
(c) October 29th, 2016

SALVIN, Alan Gordon 
November 14, 1954 – October 25, 2016
It is with deep regret and profound sadness that we inform you of the passing of Alan Salvin, peacefully at his home, surrounded by friends and family. Alan was a gifted musician who freely shared his time and talent with others. He was an outdoorsman and recreational pilot. Possessing a brilliant mind, he was not shy to share his wisdom and boundless sense of humour. He is survived by his mother Barbara "Bobby" Salvin, brothers Ian Salvin and Neil Salvin, sister Lynn Eckervogt (Thomas), nieces and nephews Cameron, Tyler, Annabelle, Lilly and Zoe. Special thanks are extended to his good friends Ron and Cynthia who provided love, devotion and support during this difficult time. Visitors may pay their respects at the Westboro Chapel of Tubman Funeral Homes 403 Richmond Road, on Saturday, October 29, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to a charity of your choice. Condolences, tributes and donations may be made at

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