Monday, March 19, 2018

BLOG OF THE WEEK: SAYING FAREWELL TO THE UNKNOWN GNOME

Sadly, my friends, this week we are saying farewell to Steve Sullivan, The Unknown Gnome, one of Poets United's very first members, who died of pancreatic cancer on March 7th. Steve's wife, Trini, his beloved Dulcina, is kindly allowing me to feature this gentle man, who was my friend. There is a beautiful love story here, so pour a glass of wine. Set out some dark chocolate. Let's have one last bittersweet visit with Steve.






I first interviewed Steve in 2011 and was immediately enraptured by his and Trini's beautiful love story. Steve, (nicknamed TUG online), hails from the USA, but he and Trini, (known online as Dulcina), fell in love across the miles, as some of us sometimes do, through their poems, and Steve followed his heart to Cantabria, Spain, to be with Trini. They married in 2006.





Here is their beautiful little cottage among the mountain peaks. This is where Steve chose to be when he took his last breaths in Trini's arms on March 7th.







Their cat, Grey-Gray


 This is their spectacular view. 
They truly live among the peaks.

One of Steve's biggest chores, when he was well,  was cutting the grass. But he didn't forget to leave a love note to Trini on the lawn.







Trini tells us that everything happened very fast with Steve. His sufferings began at the beginning of the year. He was taken to hospital February 11. The doctors discovered he had pancreatic cancer, stage IV, terrible news.

In February, while in hospital, Steve penned these final lines. He always described himself as "a simple gnome, writing simple poems". But he was so much more than that. He will be remembered through his beautiful poems, and the books and loving memories he left behind. He had such a beautiful and faithful heart. He and Trini lived a God-centered life together, as you will see from these poems.


         ***        ***

in between the beats of pain
in half breath of your love, lord,
i breathe

       ***     ***

it's better to suffer the pain
in this world than the next

         ***     ***

i never knew death
would come with such a lovely smile

        ***      ***


Treatment was to begin March 9, and Steve told the doctor he wanted to be at home until then. An ambulance took him there February 23rd.

On March 7, half an hour before he took his last breath, he told Trini he wanted to watch the Divinity channel.  Trini says, "My Steve, after so much suffering, wanted to see Divinity. I can feel him in the air  and taking care of me every second. He IS a man of God."

Steve often addressed his friends as "dear one". Here is a poem from 2013:

dear one, 
write them
write of the rest one finds in pause
where to think beyond themselves 
is peace

teach them the difference
between the holy
and the common
the worthy
and the worthless
the precious
the vile
and the viral

teach them
the work of faith
the melody of hope
the drama of love
little by little the Way
a pure heart endures

           ***

In what were to be his final years, Steve worked on a series of books, which were beautifully done, with poetry and wonderful images. I am proud to possess his books, which are truly  works of art.

Trini tells us, "My Steve said that writing was killing him, but he did not stop until he could finish his last work of poetry, "SBB Trilogy", "The Unseen Seed", "The Unheard Word" and "The Unvoiced Vox", completed with Notes in "Postmortem".

"He spent hours and hours without end writing at his computer. He knew his time on earth was coming to an end. How could he know? He IS - not "was" -  a gifted soul."




The Unknown Gnome Poems


The Unseen Seed Trilogy,
Books I, II and III


***      ***




Trini posted the following poem shortly after Steve's death: "My Steve wrote this beautiful poem about us sleeping embraced in 2015. My Steve is and will be always alive in my soul and in his poetry. Love and good poets are immortal."

as our parting is to be
i leave you this

even in your age
when you no longer leap and rise
and sleep by its design
holds you more than you desire
let me lift with words your spirit
where i will cradle you 
with love beyond rejection

and if there be a next life
promise it to me
be here with me
if not now
then when
we meet again
in love beyond rejection


        ***        ***

Sigh. So much love. Tears of joy, that this man lived and loved so well. Tears of sadness at his passing. 

Steve leaves behind his loving wife, Trini, his son Shawn and daughter Shannon, and their partners, and some adored small grandchildren, to whom he was beloved Grandpa Sully. His wife and family will miss his loving presence every day. We poets in the blogosphere will miss him, too. He encouraged our dreams. He was a beautiful poet, a true friend, and a loving presence online.

Steve, you make me want to be a better person. You will never be forgotten. Trini, our hearts go out to you. And you are right: love and good poets are immortal.

Sadness at the passing of this fine man, one of our own. And gratitude for having known him. Do come back and see who we talk to next, my friends. Who knows? It might be you!

36 comments:

  1. This is just toooooo sad. I am so sorry. I can only attribute it to "the mystery of life," and we will all join Steve someday, some sooner, ad some later. His work will live on, such a poet! Thank you so much Sherry and thank you Trini. Steve will live as long as we remember him, and his beautiful poetry.

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  2. Thank you Sherry for bringing us this sad news.....I only got to know Steve over the last few years, but oh what an amazing man full of love, peace and creativity. He will be greatly missed.

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  3. Gosh this breaks my heart. Though I never knew Steve I can tell by reading this interview that he was a gem of a human being.. may he rest in peace.. Amen.

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  4. A beautiful poet indeed, and beautiful love story too, as you say. Somehow I missed out on encountering Steve and his poetry, and it seems that his poems are no longer to be seen at his blog – so I am glad to read this small sample here and to know where his books may be obtained.

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  5. Thank you Sherry. Such a wonderful man and poet. What a wonderful and well lived life. I am saddened to hear this news. I know he and is beloved Trini will be together one day.

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  6. This is such a sad and beautiful story... I do not think that my paths crossed Steve...

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    1. But I remember Dulcina... seems like forever since we both wrote haiku at Carpe Diem...

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  7. Steve closed his website some time ago in order to focus on his books, I believe. Yes, he left behind a legacy of beautiful poetry. He will live on through his poems and the loving legacy he left in the hearts of all who knew him. It was a sad duty to put together this feature today. But it was one thing I could do for him, and for his beloved Trini.

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  8. This is beautiful, such wonder in his final words. I don't believe our paths have crossed, but I wish him well in his new journey on the other side.

    The heart in the grass speaks of his great "love".

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  9. This really breaks my heart, Sherry. I do very much remember Steve and his poetry. I admire their God-centered life, and I am sure that he is now with God; but that is no consolation for Trini with her extreme loss. What a beautiful love they have known. Makes me realize that we never know how long we have, and we must savor each moment with those that we love. Trini, I am sure that there is a next life & that you and Steve will met again. I am glad he was able to write his books. And death with a lovely smile, what more could one ask! Sherry, I know that you and Steve were close. My condolences to you on the loss of your friend!

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    1. Thank you, Mary. TUG made some beautiful collages of Pup and the beach for me, and encouraged my dreams of returning. He was supportive of many in the blosophere, a quiet loving presence. I know his spirit must be staying close by Trini, as she moves through these hard first weeks without him.

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  10. What a beautiful tribute to Steve it certainly brought tears to my eyes. Sadly I didn't know of his writings as I joined PU much later. Steve and Trini's love story is so beautiful much like a poem in itself. Thank you Sherry for putting this post together with Trini's help.

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  11. I did not know Steve but it still hits home as I see friends,peers and family pass to many in my circles to forms of cancer

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  12. Yes, cancer is everywhere, claiming too many lives far too soon. Robin, I like what you said about their love story being a poem in itself. It truly was.

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  13. For those who want to read more of Steve's work, this page on facebook has many of his poems. https://m.facebook.com/TheUnknownGnomePoems/?pnref=story

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  14. This is such a sad and beautiful post, Sherry ... written with tenderness and affection and respect. The photos, as well, are so moving. What a loss. My condolences to Trini.

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  15. This is so sad. To have lost such a beautiful soul! Wonderful to read his words, each one seem to be a poem in itself. So tender & peaceful. A beautiful post Sherry.

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  16. I don't have the words to convey my awe, my sadness, from reading this. I didn't know Steve, but he sounded like a wonderful person with a kind soul. His final poems brought a tear to my eye.

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  17. Thank you for letting us know and for such a lovely tribute to Steve, Sherry.

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  18. A beautiful tribute for Steve, Sherry. The final love poem is very moving and I am sure it is of great comfort to his wife Trini. It is always so sad when we lose a poet. I started a poetry blog in 2009 and to date we have lost five poets( that I know of)

    May his soul
    Rest in peace
    And the eternal light
    Shine upon him

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  19. I never had the pleasure of getting to know him. This was such a lovely tribute.

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  20. our paths may not have crossed, but it is sad when a poet in the community is missed.
    Sherry, this is a lovely tribute.

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  21. It is always sad when we lose a poet. I find the poems Steve wrote in hospital extremely beautiful. Pure spirit. Thank you all for your kind words for Steve. Many commented on facebook too. And now he voyages on.......

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  22. So very sad for this community and for Trini--thank you Sherry--for sharing this news--

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  23. I hardly knew 'the unknown gnome' and am overjoyed to read of his life with so much love and faith and so terribly sad that it has ended (though Steve will not consider it so, but more as the beginning of the next)

    I am glad he has left us his words in books - thank you for sharing Steve with us Sherry and for the links - all good wishes to Trini and family

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  24. Dearest Sherry ... for those of us who did not have the former joy of a relationship with Steve Sullivan you have manifested both he and Dulciana’s sense of everlasting energy and forever love ... for “dear one” you have immortalized the “ unknown gnome” into a majestic giant of. a man, poet, friend and lover who has now walked with a grace he obviously cherished through death adding his light to shimmer on the tips of waves, in the road by red of a glass of wine in an embrace held forever his poetry .... even this particularly cruel cancer could not culminate this in a death without a “lovely smile.” I will think of him in the “pause of peace” ... and tonight through this beautiful tribute feel touched by immortal divinity. ... and in humbly offer my heart to Dulcinia (Trini) to Steve Sullivan's family and all those blessed with the imprint of his gift upon their soul. His melody is clear and playing on, singing in each tear of loss and smile of memory, Good night to all .. It may seem odd somehow to thank you Sherry for sharing this incalculably painful news and yet apparently this mystic, loving man brimming with life and spirituality has walked in grace through the doorway of this time of life into another leaving the comfort of his presence and poetry. ... Forever, with love.

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    1. Pearl, such a very beautiful message, which I know will comfort Trini. Yes, it was my sad privilege to post this news of his passing. Thank you for your lovely words.

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  25. How sad, Sherry. I wish I'd known Steve. I will hear his voice and listen to his heart through the words he's left behind.
    My sincere condolences to his wife, Dulciana.

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  26. Thank you for this beautiful tribute. Steve was a faithful reader of mine, and an encouragement to me. His kind and uplifting comments infused me with hope and joy. His poetry caught my heart and awed me with word and beauty.

    Thanks again, for these beautiful words ❤️

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    1. Steve was such a supporter and encourager of his fellow poets. He will be missed.

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  27. Such a beautiful life and beautiful tribute. Though I did not know him well, I know he will be missed so very much in the blogging community and by so many that knew him and loved him dearly. Such an inspiration this is to me. A life well lived is a poetic message in itself. Thank you for sharing this Sherry, and my heart and prayers go to Trini and family.

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  28. Thanks to all and each one for your condolences. Your affectionate words are a balsam for my soul. I am sure my Steve, my poet, my love, has already read them all in the Light of Divinity. God bless you all, poets.

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  29. I hope he is smiling as he reads, Trini, and I am sure he is. Take very good care of yourself, my friend, as you walk through these days and weeks. In spring, watch the grass. I would not be surprised if you look out one day and see a heart shape imprinted on the grass.

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  30. So glad I came back to read this. Though death is always sad, I found joy in knowing such a sweet soul visited this earth.

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  31. Dear Sherry, I have come back here once more, this time to express my deepest gratitude to you for your friendship and all the affectionate messages you have been sending to me in these sorrowful days.
    I do love your tribute to my Steve in Poets United and I am sure he loves it as well. I couldn't have done it better. Steve and I consider you one of our best friends, so far in the distance, but so near, so close to our hearts.
    I can imagine him smiling to you from Heavens. Look at the sky and see his sweet smile in the stars.
    Thanks a lot for your friendship and your precious words full of tenderness to my husband.
    I sleep wrapped in his shawl, his soft and warm embrace.
    I want time to pass quickly to be cradled in his loving arms again, forever in Eternity...
    God bless you, Sherry.
    (STR)

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  32. A beautiful soul. His love and kindness shines through in his writings. Thank you for this, Sherry.

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