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Unread 06-20-2018, 11:11 PM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: TX
Posts: 4,096

Tim, just a brief thank you for all you have done for this Sphere I love. Your courage, your work as a poet, and your faith all make me think of Donne's Holy Sonnets; you give them new weight for me.

Father Rob, thank you for your ministry as well.

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Unread 06-21-2018, 12:04 AM
Edward Zuk's Avatar
Edward Zuk Edward Zuk is offline
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Surrey, Canada
Posts: 641

. . . .Meadowlark—
brightening the twilight
. . . with his song

Your grace is an inspiration that will last for generations, Tim.
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Unread 06-21-2018, 12:13 AM
Nausheen Eusuf Nausheen Eusuf is offline
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 641

I'm continuing to think of you, Tim, and wishing you well. I never knew EfH, because he was before my time -- but I'm glad I got to know you a little, and hear all the incredible stories and myths -- of your poetry, your faith, your struggles, your studying with R. P. Warren, your memorizing tens of thousands of lines of poetry, your return to North Dakota, and on and on. The legend of Tim Murphy will live on in the Sphere. Your indomitable spirit inspires me, and will continue to inspire many more. If any of us could live and write at even a fraction of your intensity, it would more than enough. Best wishes for a peaceful journey home.

And thanks to Jenny, Cathy, and Fr. Robert for taking such good care of him. What's happening right here is what I like best about the Sphere.

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Unread 06-21-2018, 04:48 AM
Jennifer Reeser's Avatar
Jennifer Reeser Jennifer Reeser is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 2,240

Thank you, Father.

I wanted to add something which may be of relevance here. Many have written asking me for Tim's phone number. His brother has now turned off the phone, as it was ringing so much, and Tim's condition has deteriorated so much. He simply cannot be contacted by any of you anymore, so please -- if you've got something to say, post it here for Father Pecotte to deliver.

Many, many times have I told Timothy that I love him. Please, members, you do it now, too, this way, which is now the only way.

Grace and peace to you, Father Pecotte, and the Spirit's divine blessings, always. I will write you presently.

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Unread 06-21-2018, 05:24 AM
Mark McDonnell Mark McDonnell is offline
Join Date: May 2016
Location: England
Posts: 2,776


Our paths never really crossed, but you once commented on one of my poems very soon after I joined. It wasn't particularly complimentary as I recall haha, but I remember it was very charming and you said something very funny about Gerard Manley Hopkins. It made me feel like I was in the right place.

Peace be with you, and safe passage.


Last edited by Mark McDonnell; 06-22-2018 at 02:48 AM.
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Unread 06-21-2018, 06:59 AM
Jim Moonan Jim Moonan is offline
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 2,049

Peace, Tim, from another stranger; drawn to you by the beacon of your poetic soul. May the poems you have produced be timber for the vessel you sail across the river.

There is a theatre game I play with children. It's a skit. Half the group stands together on one side of a wide blue piece of fabric that is a river.

The other half of the group approaches the river from the other side and, seeing the group across the river, calls out to them, "How do we get to the other side?"

The group replies, "You are on the other side!"

A back and forth argument ensues.
"No, you are!"
"No, you are!"
"No, you are!"
"No, you are!"

Each group decides to help the other group get to the other side by making a human chain of hands to pull them across.

In the end, the "other side" remains an enigma. But this much is clear: "The other side" is where you are always going. Safe passage, Godspeed.
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Unread 06-21-2018, 08:38 AM
Richard Meyer's Avatar
Richard Meyer Richard Meyer is offline
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 2,936

Dear Father Pecotte:

Nearly eleven years ago, when Tim was in a dire situation and facing possible death, members of the Sphere were asked to post comments or poems for him. If I recall correctly, you collected and delivered those messages to Tim. Below is the verse I wrote at the time:

For Tim: A Huntsman Far From Home

Because you've wandered far away
And we have lost your track,
Remember friends who wait and pray,
Think home, and double back.

Richard Meyer
19 September 2007

Now I offer this little verse, a farewell to a comrade in the craft:

For Tim: A Huntsman Nearing Home

No need of pack or shouldered gun,
you stride the hunter’s final trail
and journey toward the risen sun.
A dove, pure white from beak to tail,
takes wing close by to lead you on:
A gate. A welcome lodge. The dawn.

Richard Meyer
21 June 2018

Last edited by Richard Meyer; 06-21-2018 at 04:11 PM. Reason: revision to poem
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Unread 06-21-2018, 08:50 AM
Catherine Chandler's Avatar
Catherine Chandler Catherine Chandler is offline
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Canada and Uruguay
Posts: 5,727
Blog Entries: 33

Dear Fr. Rob,

Thank you for this opportunity for us to post a final message to our "EfH"! I was moved to tears when Tim wrote to me that I was his EfH, too, but the H was for Heaven . . .

I wrote the following poem for Tim when he was first diagnosed in January. He has since read it, but if you would kindly read it to him, Fr. Rob, that would be wonderful.

But before I post the poem, I just wanted everyone to know that Tim remained strong and hopeful throughout these last weeks. In his "The Trial, an Ode", part V, he writes about a dream he had:

Chucky, Opening Day, it's time to go!
The mourning doves have stayed,
cooing in fragrant shade,
the western cedar boughs that softly blow,
the junipers that roosters claw with spurs.
Here we have ears for everything that whirs.

So, this was my poem for Tim:

For Tim, on the Eve of Battle

This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy,
according to the prophecies which went before on thee,
that thou by them mightest war a good warfare. (1 Timothy 1:18)

The rattles, caws and clicks of circling crows
outdo the western meadowlark of late;
flickertails in burrows hibernate
in colonies till spring; and I suppose
your fields are carpeted with winter’s snows,
your hunting boots and Winnie 28
cleaned and set aside. They’ll have to wait,
like Chucky who looks up at you, and knows.

Yet soon the great Red River, frozen now,
will recommence its northward course, and pink
wild prairie roses bloom beneath the fair
cerulean High Plains skies. Farmers will plow
their acres once again. Let not your ink
run dry, my friend. Fear not the trumpet's blare.

—Catherine Chandler, January 2018

Tim's ink certainly did not run dry. When Last Poems is eventually published, there will be over two hundred pages of some of his best work, full of grace, grit, and gratitude.


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Unread 06-21-2018, 09:31 AM
Jennifer Reeser's Avatar
Jennifer Reeser Jennifer Reeser is offline
Distinguished Guest
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 2,240

Tim is very weak this morning, but he is conscious, lucid, listening and responding. Don't wait. Say what you need to say, now.

Also, please consider sharing this information with other of your friends and colleagues outside the forum, who may not be aware -- here is their last chance to speak to this great spirit before he passes to another plane.

Many thanks,
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Unread 06-21-2018, 09:38 AM
Jayne Osborn's Avatar
Jayne Osborn Jayne Osborn is offline
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Middle England
Posts: 5,821

Your poem is lovely, Cathy, and so is yours, Richard.

And when Last Poems is eventually published, what a big seller it will be! I'll be buying lots of copies to give to (non-Spherean) friends who love poetry.

The book will be a marvellous tribute to Tim.

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