Finding the FUN in “funeral” - send off for Nik Beat September 23, 2021

Collage of shots from Celebration of the Life of Nik Beat Sept. 23, 2104 -Gary 17

Collage of shots from Celebration of the Life of Nik Beat Sept. 23, 2104 -Gary 17

The September 23 Celebration of Life for poet/musician/broadcaster and craft-artist Nik Beat (born Michael Barry) at St. John The Baptist, Norway, Anglican Church on Woodbine Avenue in east TO was an emotional event that evolved into a love-in.

Another writer will describe her sentiments about it an a separate piece.

But here I want to honour Nik by creating a collage of photos from the day (he was an avid collage artist) as well as with a poem I wrote while having a smoke outside the church after the “formal” service (which got pretty informal at times) prior to the totally fun reception downstairs.

“And How Are Your Tomatoes?”

140923 at Nik Beat’s funeral

“And how are your tomatoes?” she asked
a friend not seen in some time
as they left after the poet’s funeral service.

Earlier, angels fell
and rejoiced for and in it.
People wondered aloud how to commit to God’s care
someone who had no use nor need of a Lord.
Yet sheepishly they obediently chanted
the hymnal refrains as tradition dictated.

Colours and collages,
phrases and montages,
music, words,
and laughter at remembered quirks.
Sighs of profound sorrow …
a little less love in the world tomorrow.

Or is there?
Transmuted, his life in having been fully lived
now transcends, embraces and infuses
those who knew him.
Life will go on
tomatoes will sprout, grow,
ripen, wither
and fall away.

Let us pray that the vine of his time
on earth will continue to give rise
to luscious fruits
by dwelling in the hearts
of those whom he touched


-Gary 17,