To the girl with the long straw blonde hair
flying down the street, hair streaming behind her;
I cannot see her face, she stands
on the back of a motorcycle that flies down the street,
her long blonde hair streams behind her.
She is eight years old and the driver is, I believe,
someone she knows, someone who loves her, someone she trusts—
she stands—her long straw blonde hair streaming behind her
and they drift—she and the driver she knows and trusts and loves—
up to the horizon, rise as they recede, they rise as the warm Spring air
makes the night new, mild but masked, filled with promise and mystery,
as it runs through her hair, as she rises to the horizon, on the back
of the motorcycle driven by someone she trusts and loves;
she stands, and her long straw blonde hair streams behind her.

A word about Dennis Tourbin. Twister was an inspiration to the (original) Peterborough Poets — all of us. He was an established player — a poet/ painter who was published, whose paintings were exhibited — and he believed in us, performed with us, and mentored us.
It is impossible to convey the infectious good will, optimism and endless energy Dennis possessed. Dennis and I performed on the same bills together, and eventually we co-created some poems and performed together. It was always a profound experience for me to perform with Dennis.
Dennis was a star. He could capture a room, stop people in their tracks in an instant. All of us P’bo Poets studied, befriended Dennis, as we all knew — Dennis was the goods.
I have written the poem in a style that is not Dennis’ but is a tribute to his style. Dennis created patterns of words, rhythms of words, repetitions, alterations that through repetition made new sentences, new meanings. I have tried to emulate the method in the poem.
Dennis meant more to me than all of the above. When my son was undergoing treatment for leukemia, Dennis was being treated for a brain tumour — a tumour that would eventually end his life.
He would call me, ask how Arlen (my son) was doing and raise my spirits. I could never get over his courage, his consideration. Dennis was calling me to help me out, when he was the one being treated for cancer. Grace, larger than life — a true star — Dennis was all of the above and it could have made him a monster without heart — but he never lost his heart. He always loved like a lion.
Twister (his nickname) always raised my spirits. He was a friend, a living example of how an artist/ poet should act/ behave/ create — and he was endless kindness and humanity. I miss him terribly and hope you will check out his work, and if you knew Dennis, I hope this tribute meets with your approval.

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