I call

Peter Hallock, at his kitchen table

Peter Hallock, at his kitchen table (2009)

The following poem was written by Jason Anderson and is reprinted with permission , on the loss of composer Peter R. Hallock, It is so intensely personal, and reveals much about Peter, the man, whom those in his inner circle were privileged to know and love.

I Call: a poem reflecting on loss

for Peter R. Hallock (1924–2014)

I call

to the man with pursed and puckered lips, deep in thought,
who wore the same warm, enveloping cream turtleneck
and green-gray sport coat for decades,
who wore out several pair of drugstore reading glasses.

I call

to the man who lives in the harvest yellow stucco house, with water-logged wall,
and wood stove that never worked since it was installed,
near other homes tucked away on a private gravel driveway in rural Fall City,
surrounded from behind with horsetail and blackberry bramble,
and bedecked in front with a formal Japanese garden
complete with a froggy fountain.

Some of Peter's cuckoo clocks

Some of Peter’s cuckoo clocks

I call

to the man with whimsical items throughout his home,
from the five cuckoo clocks, to the grandmother clock in a cabinet he made,
from the flying machine man, to the purple and gray zodiac bedspread,
from the copper sun gracing his front door (which no one ever used),
to the resin “Fat Lady” singing from atop his commode.

I call

to the man with whom I and many shared martinis while solving the world’s ills;
or discussing the troubles and tribulations of the church, its priests and musicians;
or talking of the sociological or psychological disorders of humankind.

I call

to the man with a heart, soul, and mind poured out as a libation for music,
the composer of so many works for church or for pleasure,
with still nascent compositions and unfinished works,
the weaver of melodies, harmonies,
and yet, also the weaver of yarn, tapestries, and rugs.

Peter Hallock (2009)I call

to the man with whom I shared many visits to doctors’ offices,
the grocery store, and post office;
with a body made frail by a failing heart, a body water-logged,
with kidneys that couldn’t keep up—
all of which made a brilliant mind seem cloudy and confused.

I call

to the man who would have turned 90 last November,
with no lover or son or daughter to remember him,
but instead, a family much larger than my own.

I call to you,

dear man, through the clear blue sky and summer sun.

I call to you,

dear man, through the dense fog and thick clouds and pelting rains of winter.

The view from the deck

The view from the deck

I call to you,

dear man, dear musician, dear friend, dear brother, dear father.

I call to you,

but you answer only in songs I already know.

The form of this poem is adapted from one I read as part of Writing through your grief class in Autumn 2014. I read this poem for the first time at the Compline Choir annual meeting on Sunday, January 18, 2015. (Jason Anderson)

About Katherine Crosier

In addition to playing the organ I am interested in documenting life's special moments through journaling, scrapbooking, photography and slideshow production. My family just groans.
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