John-Ward Leighton


From the launching pad of birth
we rise
slowly into the stunning vastness
of the skies.
At first there is time for everything
and time is an endless page
waiting for us to tell our stories.
We learn as we go
but a lot of what we think we know
just ain’t so.
Life is inexorable
and our mistakes if not fatal
are called experience.
At each new crossing
we use our mistakes
as our reference.
Friends come and go
and we are shocked
when someone passes
and we deem it before their time.
Life has many mysteries
and seems to have
no rhythm or rime.
The years accelerate
and what was yesterday
is soon fifty years
down the road
and suddenly part
of a history.
One cannot cry
for a life lived to the max
no matter how short.
Friends, however
are another matter,
the bonds of friendship
binds us one to another
and each passing
is another closing chapter.
An ending not quite ended.
To those who have gone before
we will soon join you in our
common history
and burn brightest
just before the end of our own

Photo ©Copyright 2006 by John-Ward Leighton
Photo ©Copyright 2006 by John-Ward Leighton

Author’s Note: Received an obituary from Barry “P” in this morning’s inbox.

Sid Carignan a WW2 and Korean veteran jumped with 1 Para in the Rhine jump, served with the Patricias in Korea, and on our tour of Germany in 1955-1959. When I knew him he was Platoon Sgt. of 9 Pl. Charlie Company 1PPCLI.

He was a very smartly turned out soldier in magnificent physical shape, a quiet man not given to bad language or bluster. All of us young soldiers looked up to him. The world is a lesser place with his passing.

God – that was fifty one years ago, but it seems like yesterday, Sid would have been in his late twenties or early thirties at the time when we served together and all ready had two wars under his belt. He had the quiet confidence to handle Junior Officers, usually greener than grass and ten to twelve years less time in this world, with finesse and class. They learned a lot from Sid and became better Officers because of it. In short he was a “Rock”.

The journey has been seventy years long and a lot of things have happened, time passes more quickly now and the telephone poles along the road of life blur by like a picket fence. Days, weeks, months, years pass in rapid succession and the muzzle velocity increases like the boost of a retrorocket. Our separate trajectories flash and cross until they terminate and it seems like we just get to know someone and they are gone.