NOTE AND WORD

Notes did more than ride on rhythm

Pulsing through the unity that was the song, is the song

Uniting string, amp, voice, and ear

Hearing players sound together song

Dionysus dance energy and harmony

ALL HARMONIOUS

 

What text can never do, even if spoken

Written reference to literature speech and word

But there is the I AM

Logos

Being in existence and the regression into terms

Name and it’s gone

 

The harmonies that played together knit

Player, hearer, heart, and feet tapping

Nodding, dance, night-time, night-club

Night after night and us three

All harmonious over time

And a long time

 

Life vicissitudes over much time

The song sung together, composed of us three

Now and echo

To talk about together

WHAT MATTERS IN THE CHAMBERS OF MY HEART

I played my heart out one sunset flag lowering

Playing taps on trumpet at church camp

How I held that long, lingering note till my breath nearly ran out

It moved everybody—children surrounded me at chapel afterward

Moved me too, I felt it all, feel it still, I’m there, now—44 years later

 

I had played solo trumpet in filled concert halls

Been interviewed on radio about it

But that doesn’t hit me now

Like sunset, flag lowering, at church camp

 

I played trumpet duets that I’d composed

Before and after evening chapel at church camp

44 years ago, and it pleases me now to be there again

 

I played bass at a church Convention worship service

I see the drummer lean forward to look at me

After a drum solo to get in the groove again

I’m there, 5 years ago, even now

 

I played bass in packed bars, jazz clubs, hotel dance floors

Church Convention sits with me more pleasantly, now

 

Then there was Memorial Day at the family trailer campground

Mom and dad and children danced on the cement floor

Mom sang along with the ‘50’s Little Richard song

We played Monkees for a boy who saw them on Nickelodeon TV

And it sits with me like church, 33 years later

 

COVID-19 affords me much time, much occasion to reflect

Success deconstructs in reflecting over a life well-lived

It sits as a matter of what means to me

And meaning is not a matter of acclaim or money

Church and family camping echo pleasantly

Through the chambers of my heart

And sit well with me in reflections of COVID-19

ETHICS AND COVID-19

I drove home today, after a long walk in the park,

Past the reopened bars, coffee shops, on Whyte Avenue

Observed the patrons seated at tables outside and inside in the darkness

During the past few months ethics were easy:

Stay home

That meant pass time, pass time well, at home:

Read good books, go on walks, play music, binge TV

My little money lasted longer

Now that I don’t have to stay home, is it enough

To pass time, pass time well, at home?

Why did I wander around shopping malls, eat breakfast at coffee shops, lose money at the

casino?

Crave more money.

I know why I went out to hear live music.

Maybe I will still shelter in place

Read good books, go on walks, play music.

I am not the same since COVID-19

Will not be the same.

We’ll see about binging TV, craving more money.

THE MASK THAT WASN’T THE 50’s

The veneer that was the 50’s

Cracked open, broke decent pretense

A massive cultural mythology

Imposed by retired military-industrial-congressional complex

Reasons for the mask that suburbs looked like

Took a generation of activists to unmask

And uprise against the subordination of the feminine mystique

White-washed and express racial exclusion

From proximity, opportunity, drinking fountains

Pulling the covers off infidelity

Drunken suburban neighborhood house parties

Off-stage of Ozzie and Harriet and Donna Reed

Woodstock didn’t so much liberate

As unmask, dismantle dissemblance, crack the veneer

That wasn’t the 50’s

GENERATIONS

Well known that the elderly don’t

Connect well with the young

But what is new is that it is me

Intellectual trends pass relatively rapidly

I’m out of touch, and

I doubt that what is timeless

Is current

I can’t appreciate contemporary art

Poetry publishers eschew rhyme

Educators put lessons on students’ cell phones

I write poems with pen on paper

 

When we were young, we were hostile

To the older generation

Deliberately sought to overthrow

Society, social dropouts, protesters

We were, when we were

Young

 

Today’s young are indifferent to us

Neither in opposition, nor respect

To them, we are not

I am

Though I am displaced

Generation gap

Agism

But now it’s me

A MOTHER’S LIFE

My mother’s life is and was

All giving

My creator, an image of my Creator.

Her very blood infused into my veins

She has made a home and a life for me

In my weakness, she was strength

In my want, she was plenty

In my soul, my mind, my aspirations

My mother’s heart is poured into mine

In our differing visions, or visions shared

My mother was there

Supporting, condoling, celebrating

Much of me is not her

Much of me is her

It matters not

She gave, gives

A mother’s life is and was

All giving.

WILDFLOWERS

We love to see a meadow of wild flowers

And take delight in sweet pea, bluebell, pansy

But if we try to pick and hold their beauty

We find they fade and wilt in only hours

 

Still after we have placed them in a vase

We love their delicate pedals and scent

Like flowers, time with friends is only lent

Though beauty in friendships gives life grace

 

And we love it when our friends are nearby

But time with friends tends to be uncertain

If long or short, impermanence is certain

People change; in time we’ll say goodbye

 

Buddhists say that joy in friend or lover

Still is dukkha, suffering or grief

I see the transient nature of all life

Yet still take joy, delight, and pleasure

As it is in friendship, love, or flower

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