2005 James Dean Memorial Service Poetry by Charles Barnes

image Graveside at Park Cemetery, Charles Barnes from Massachusetts reads his poems. He has granted permission for me to print his copyrighted work on-line for the fans.


Maybe it was the Furies traveled by –
     Drawing earth’s elements up to sky,
From an unsuspecting passerby;
      A restlessness that must fly,

Haste! O lad, betimes to honour,
     Our unsleeping cavalier;
All you have is this precious hour.


You did it all so fast –
From out of farmfields in Indiana
And even every hick town that raised
You somehow. That was home where pigs
And chickens were accustomed to meteors
 And Hoosier hear the haunting laugh. –

Before the whole sluggish world did.
Before they saw something overhead:
A star? – and somehow, you were dead.

Still handsome and expressive as ever occurred
On Hollywood films. Half-tongue tied
Until we half die to give you words.

But it would seem, to be done
For few bridge where you have gone
To steal across and slyly stun.

In the light that covers shade –
In all that lit your decade
Three flashes it was you made.

And the heart of trouble’s turbulence
And all that we have known since –
Throb and move by other laws
Since a rebel lived, and somewhere hence
To show by joy and rage that it was our cause,
To bring such sobering pause.

A bough I break from the cedar tree
Which not from the grave gives delivery:
One part I keep, for you or me –
Where cornfields enclose where you have been –
To the skies above the marker more evergreen
I fling this shaft where you were seen.


Ring – ring – O’ bells of youth!
O’ peal again for then its story:
Tho’ sorrows pressed close – brought kind of joy –
Was . . .when, rebellion was our glory.

Throughout the days, and nights, the late chimes, repeat –
To you – to a mate, left somewhere behind:
That sounds like the huckleberry bird, some have seen,
From a time born again and again.

That’s out past the village gate still there;
Floating o’er the gardens, and pastures green:|
And down to the old highways – not closed in, or trampled;
That were more full, and simpler – under the wild west wind.
For it seems only in humble simplicity can we get there,
In the mystery – of what gets left behind.

Else the new, would make us a hospital on wheels;
Or an endless city marching – to prosaic times:
That would take out the deepest center, within us –
Which is not why we’re here to celebrate, and remember:
But let us leave behind somewhat, this age that goes too far –
No one wants – where we make our stand.

For the spectacle today, is on surface matters, often bare;
Or complexities – that dry out the unrnelodic land;
Where high purpose grows suspect, or frightened, interrupted;
And it all comes apart – not sweet as surely then.

Yet, across the countryside – are one hundred thousand towns
And millions of good faces, which reflect this human condition:
Hoping all the countless searchings, won’t be vain strivings;
But something rejoiceful; and, better, can return.

As the summer fields grow ripe with all that fields can grow –
Even if some of its children leave for awhile to another sun:
To show themselves, upon a wider stage – of what can work!
When the gift is great, that would die if not given.

These are not the bells that gathered him in –
Nor the tears that were shed when he was gone:
But we meet to recall a fine sense of freedom,
That was wonderfully grasped by at least one man.

And the gift’s been received! hear the ringing broad bells –
Not a toll, but a testament! to your living:
During that time when over the sweeping expanse of America –
In what we were once – as a people to the world, our giving;
When the nations, in envy – looked to the good, we represented.
And you showed brightest the heroic romance, then

To keep the drama going. And, if any listeners now: delve the earth
All your days; unearth the past that’s been:
And none shall have perhaps deeper longing than we,
Always half-looking for the enchanted *50’s, dear friend.
And till all the shovels and hearts break …
Not another shall be James Dean.

image(The poem above is dedicated to Vicki Senning, born 1955)

 James Dean 50th Year Memorial
September 30, 2005
Fairmount, Indiana

Lyrics added to the theme music of East of Eden


What are the short days for –
   If not. after joys victory?
And if some roads can’t go on –
   Try another, down further, to see.

And wherever you go,
   If it’s East of Eden . . .
Part of me I leave, for
   You to sing; –
And scenes that will never die
   But stay young in your
Own country,

From a town by the oceans roar
   Beyond a hidden world of my family:
Was a rebellion I needed, take far
   To know then, – and then, be free.

And wherever you go,
  If it’s East of Eden . . .
Part of me I leave, for
   You to sing; –
And scenes that will never die
   But stay young in your
Own country.

image Charles Barnes © 2005

imageHere’s a link to page three of picturesfrom Park Cemetery

at Back Creek’s brunch pages at the service outside Back Creek Meeting at Park Cemetery
4 pages
in Fairmount Friends Meeting

image Here’s a link  to the index for this year’s Fairmount September James Dean Festival

image Here’s a link to the deaners.net index

image Here’s the CMG’s James Dean website

 Page made by Sandra Weinhardt, email editor@tentativetimes.net