(Inspired by Ode to the Maker of Odes, and by a brief visit with Sir Arthur C. Clarke, in his home in Colombo.)
In Sir Arthur’s Parlor
Colombo, Sri Lanka, 2006
June 5, 2008
The hand that grasped the rungs
down the gravity well into Rama,
held up a bone to tap
on a black monolith,
and held the pen
that wrote the stories of my youth,
clasped mine, for just that moment.
That hand, robbed of all its strength
by the long years,
but which gave its strength
to a constellation of dreams,
I held it gently
afraid to bruise
that which had created
the worlds in which I spent my childhood.
The eyes that stared into space
full of stars
for just that moment looked into mine,
as a fellow writer.
In August of 2006, while in Sri Lanka for ApacheCon, I had the opportunity to visit, briefly, with Sir Arthur C. Clarke in his home. We spoke very briefly, I shook his hand, and we took the above photograph. He was recovering from cataract surgery, so the photo was taken without a flash.
Today, he died, and the world is poorer for it. He was one of the greatest Sci Fi authors ever, and one of my favorite authors, of any genre.
I’m reminded that I met one of my other favorite authors, Douglas Adams, also at ApacheCon – that one in London, also very shortly before he died.
Here’s some more photos taken around Arthur C Clarke’s home. Not particularly good ones. The ones in my mind are much more vivid, as are all the stories that he ever told me.