Words aren’t sufficient to describe your pure soul
for my friend, Michael Rothenberg
It’s an honor to have known someone like you, but unfortunate to lose! You left my friend, beaten by many challenges yet unbowed with your big heart. You strived to shelter all the poets you called brothers. You encouraged and gave us hope that the poets would change the world for the better. As for other things, you’d say Who cares about anything else!
I called you brother, and you’d call me, my little brother. I’d ask you about fame, and you’d say, first me, and then if something is left, I’ll bestow it on you. You’d poke fun of me, while comforting at the same time, showing me how things function. For the poets, you’d say academics and professors think they know it all, and only they know how to write, but don’t recognize others. Yet, to be a poet, one doesn’t need a fancy degree, but a soul with a poetic sense that gives life to arrays.
We met in Salerno— you were close, a kindred spirit with everyone, though it was the first time you met some of us. So I, with all of you poets, without knowing you, accept you here gathered. You gathered us and we became as family. You and Terri, Drita and I, I’d explain the meaning of their names in both languages, Albanian and English. Michael, a person such as you is hard to find, even harder to become.
Photos from Salerno, Italy ©2015 Michael Dickel
You gave us hope, courage, as well as support to act and call out for Peace, Justice and Sustainability! You shared the loss of your only son, Kosmos, and the loss of your brother, what tragedy. You’d worry about your inheritance as it would all extinguish with you, as in “The Last Mohican,” who fought for his essence. And I’d tell you that the eternal flame never gets extinguished.
When we last spoke, you told me of your cancer and how worried you were about Terri, who juggled to care in one room with your health and the other, with therapy for her mother, who was in a deathbed— and for Terri, death was knocking on two doors all the while, I overheard you say, take care of Ziggy. It’s what you told Terri? Ugh, I felt terrible watching you from a laptop monitor, unable to help you other than comfort you with words. Yet I was amazed by your strength, with which you’d wrap yourself, not giving up. Withstanding! When Menka messaged me, to tell me that you were ill and that doctors had told Terri that you had three to four days left, and only a few hours later a message from Lisa Michael died last night around 11:00pm. He went peacefully. !!! Michael left us, a voice whispered in my head. I was dumbfounded. Speechless. Tears poured from my eyes for you my dear friend, for you who had nothing else, but life in poetry…
Text ©2022 Faruk Buzhala
All rights reserved
…is a well-known poet from Ferizaj, Kosovo, writing in his mother-tongue, Albanian. He was born in 9 March 1968 in Pristina. He is the former manager and leader of “De Rada,” a literary association, from 2012 until 2018, and also the representative of Kosovo to the 100 TPC organization. In addition to poems, he also writes short stories, essays, literary reviews, traveltales, etc. Faruk Buzhala is an organizer and manager of many events in Ferizaj. His poems have been translated to English, Italian, Spanish, French, German, Croatian and Chinese, and are published in anthologies.