City Health Director Maritza Bond has written a moving tribute that appears in The Huffington Post to former City Councilman Warren Blunt who died last Friday. He was 63. Services for the long-time Health Department employee will take place this Saturday, 11am in Mount Aery Baptist Church, 73 Frank Street. Post condolences here.
In her tribute to Blunt, Bond also shares poetry crafted by the genial giant. From Bond, followed by Warren’s Night Vision.
There are certain people that you meet who, irrespective to the few minutes, hours, days, or months that you encounter them, their presence impacts your life for greater. Greater purpose. Greater growth. Greater love. Greater giving. Greater thinking. Two months into a new position, I had the privilege of encountering an individual who left me with a greater sense of appreciation for a life actually lived … rather than a lived life.
His smile was infectious. His sense of calm was tranquilizing. His heart was sincere. His love was indiscriminate. His artistry was inspirational. In quietness and confidence was his strength. His passing the day before New Year’s Eve underscores the brevity of life and the fragility of today. As most of the world was embarking on a celebratory close to another year gone by, and walking into fresher opportunities, Warren Blunt walked into a goodbye on this side of life and a hello into the other.
The following is a thought Warren shared with me two days before he breathed his last. Within that conversation, he announced his passion and dream to have his artistry displayed for a world audience to find a source of encouragement. His personal mission was blended into his professional aim: to leave people better than how he found them … particularly in the environmental health sector Warren invested a quarter of a century in. Whether or not you have had the privilege of knowing Warren personally, it is my hope that you will vicariously acquaint yourself with a snapshot of his mind, as he wanted few things more than to simply contribute a brighter sense of clarity to what can sometimes be a clouded world we are in.
This tribute is not to say “goodbye,” but rather, as Warren Blunt would say: Namaste (I bow to the divine in you).
I sometimes search the night skies
Through my uniquely insignificant eyes;
To reinforce unanswered questions of why,
I feel the connection and observe the order
Patterns so pure as glaciered water,
As I ponder the challenge of a new day
Advancements like the stars visible yet so far away
Yet voices within keep whispering you must be the one to find a way
And contributions though unmeasured will surely stay
As I ponder the challenge of a new day
Looking at the world I am torn between hope and sorrow,
For the many suffering today and for the children of tomorrow,
The growing influence of racism and terror
The annoying spread of indifference towards poverty
Are among the top I most abhor
The complexities of the time
Bear witness to the signs
There is the criminal in- justice system
Where penal universities are warehousing graduates
For their re- incarceration degree
Blacks need only to apply admission guaranteed
Cows on the brink of Madness
Fish seeking Rehab with issues of chemical dependencies
Mosquitoes moon lighting as Travel Agents
Offering exclusive trips to the western part of the Nile
While birds and swine court a relationship with the flu
Are some of the things just to name a few.
Educator, Investigator, Enforcer, Advocator,
All that must be assumed
To avoid the inevitable of disaster and doom
The consequence of apathy translated,
Implies the acceptance of unacceptable conditions,
And the more this tolerance I contemplate
It clearly becomes the crude oil of Hate
As the great divide continues among disparities
Healthcare an advantage only for the privileged few
While the elusive fundamental human right becomes more of a rarity
What are uninsured families to do.
While the practice of waste
Encourages the perpetuation for destruction
At the hand of self indulgence
Waste management or Managing ones waste
Incredulous we stand as children continue to starve
Wanting only a taste
All along those classic combatants Nature verses Nurture
Jockeying for world attention
Ever submitting to the haunting screams of Katrina and Rwanda
I dare to mention.
Not to alarm only to keep it real,
To each of us I do appeal
If we are to relieve this world tension
We must be assiduous to our focus
Of all energy on prevention,
Embracing the basic of love for life and the environment;
Can be the most powerful motivation of all
Towards restoring hope of being more responsible
With who we are and what we have
I pray we hear that call
As my wide watery eyes
Return from the gaze of the night sky
I realize more than yesterday
That life’s ultimate wealth
Is to Maintain and Promote this world’s precious item
A thing known as Health
A glimpse into the heart of a good man. It is proper recognition for him at the right time, in the right way, by a colleague and friend.