In Praise and Memory of Joanne Kyger

by Ed Sanders

Joanne Joanne
You came to a party
at the Peace Eye Bookstore
on East 10th
in July of ’67
fresh from a visit to Europe
You were radiant and beautiful
standing near Julius Orlovsky & Tom Clark
Always those years
we referred to you as
Kyger Kyger burning bright
in the forests of the night.

For decade ’pon decade
I was amazed at your poetry!
We visited you in Bolinas
over the years
where you were very active in town affairs
& wrote for the Bolinas Hearsay News
You helped protect your oceanside village
from excess development.

Later when we toured Italy together
in your hotel rooms
you always set up a Buddhist shrine
with holy items & images & incense to burn

We exchanged many emails for years
all the way to your final months
when you shielded your health from
much of the world
Your books shine brightly
— a fine stack of them
glowing in our living room
Kyger Kyger Burning Bright.

Nov. 2, 2017, for Memorial reading at St. Mark’s Church