LEAVES OF REMEMBRANCE

The scattered leaves almost covered the evening’s brick paving

As we walked from one empty bar to the next

Where years ago I spent college nights

Drinking, joking, and performing on some Thursdays

After the day’s classes, coursework, researching, and writing

A chapter in my life, revisited walking through these empty bars

An old friend, children now all moved out

Recalling our band, friendship, bridging a 25 years’ gap

Filled with occupations and roles now like the fallen leaves

With which the season is done, released from their work in the season past

Me an alum living thousands of miles and decades away

He stayed, still plays, teaches

The woodwork of the bars still the same,

The ceramic mosai-esque tiles on the floor the same,

And the same, the dark, stained, aged hardwood floors

The young bartender didn’t know the owner’s name, a sometimes friend,

If he still owns it, as in those days when I used to come

When I was closer to the bartenders’ and waitresses’ age

Than my years which commanded an unexpected respect from them

In this place and generation no longer mine but in remembrance

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The Measure

Catch anyone of us on a bad day

And you wouldn’t want

To make them your friend

Catch anyone on a good day

And you wouldn’t want

Ever to leave their side

If anyone of us were measured

By how big an ass we could be

We’d be jerks every one of us

If measured by how beautiful

We could ascent and shine

We would inevitably disappoint

Though there are some, very few

Who never seem to have a good day

Being good means more often shining

And less often having a bad day

Overdriven tones distort

And resonance can magnify, distort, even good tones

But silence isn’t the answer

It’s EQ, balance and refine–

It all comes down to the mix