For Allen Cohen (1940-2004

once again the sixties ends
it has been ending for forty years
once again another
another gentle person
into the earth
which he had sought to protect
and now must nourish
Allen, what work you did
what an amazing "oracle"
what promises
you made and kept
and hoped for
once again the
electric guitars are saddened
once again they play
vibrant minor chords
once again
a word man is silenced
(though I have his words
we cheated you death
his breath
is in his poems
we have this still)
streets of Haight and Ashbury
another one of yours is gone
streets of love and disaster
"They drove out most of Haight-Ashbury's originators who
fanned out all over the world and planted seeds of change"
good bye, dear Allen
you were always kind to me
and I loved your elegant gentle manners
which you showed even when you were near death
and in pain
"The soul's a butterfly"
you flew here:
Fly there

©Jack Foley

Jack Foley is an innovative,widely-published poet and critic who, with his wife,
Adelle, performs his work frequently in the San Francisco Bay Area. For the past
several years he has hosted a show of interviews and poetry presentations on
Berkeley radio station KPFA. His current show, "Cover to Cover," which can be heard
by streaming audio at, is on every Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. Pacific time.
He also has a weekly column, "Foley's Books," for the online magazine,
" The Alsop Review" which can be found at
Allen Cohen Tributes and Memories