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The Passing of Jean Schmidt

Jean Schmidt and her husband Steve are close friends of ours. Jean passed away last week. She is survived by her brother, by Steven and by three sons. Jean was proud to be a very good nurse, both professionally, and when her family needed her. Jean was also a skilled singer and participated in the local choir. Jean Schmidt (was Stainback) (aka “Grace Darling”) is also a wonderful and prolific poet. Jean made a huge contribution to the Northport and Huntington poetry scene, and was part of the workforce behind “Sundays at 7” at the Northport Museum and poetry at the Conklin Barn.

Jean’s funeral was yesterday, and an open house. Many people there were expressing the need for other commemorations. So, I think there will be a poetry reading or other event dedicated to her soon, which will be good for people who heard the news late, and still want a chance to celebrate her life. At the open house, Charlotte did a ceremony to ask the four directions to guide Jean’s spirit.

Steve has invited people to share Jean’s poetry at her blog: http://fairscape.blogspot.com. Jean also had other blogs which are linked at fairscape.

One of Jean’s poems from the blog:

sights seen

liquid copper sunshine
ignites a grey crepe paper sky
informs our harbour waters
in an uncharacteristic
shade of peach
while white organza mist
lifts from its
pearlescent surface

in a nearby thicket
nascent buds
tipped with peridot dew
remind me winter
can not last

spring pleads with me
promising early relief
from this barren time

using memories
I have collected
to take with me
as I die
I imagine
a smiling blue sky
carrying a tickle
of warm southern air

fragrance of fresh lavender
crushed between fingertips

yielding spring of awakening greengrass
beneath my lover’s hips

holding this season to its word

I will remain for now

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