The Sunday Poem: “If I Were A Monarch Butterfly” – by Mary K. O’Melveny

January 15th, 2023

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The Sunday Poem is published weekly, and strives to include the poet reading their work.

Ms. O’Melveny reads her poem at its conclusion.

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Dwight Sipler from Stow, MA, USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Dwight Sipler from Stow, MA, USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

 

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If I Were A Monarch Butterfly

I’d play Django Reinhardt’s
gypsy jazz as I rambled.
Like Romani everywhere,
my roots are temporary,
my wings all bling, swing,
my story backed with chords,
percussion, sweep of strings.
Improvisation keeps me
aloft as I glide through air
like flecks of sunlight adrift
on morning tides. Fueled
by lilt of violins, acoustic
guitar arpeggios, wind
shear keeps me dancing
from milkweed to magenta
cone flower to golden
jungle marigolds. Tune in
to my background story,
a glissando shift from bass
to highest C notes. I can’t be
constrained, reined in, pinned down.
Watch me soar from hot club
to blues bar, from waltz to swing
dance. Follow me as I cross
mountains, boundaries, border walls,
from Clouds to that elusive
Mansion of Our Dreams.

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Listen to Mary K. O’Melveny read “If I Were A Monarch Butterfly”

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Listen to the 1935 recording of Django Reinhardt playing “Clouds,” with Stéphane Grappelli (violin); Joseph Reinhardt and Pierre “Baro” Ferret (guitars); and Louis Vola (bass) 

 

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Ms. O’Melveny writes about the legendary guitarist Jeff Beck, who died on January 10, 2023

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Simon Fernandez/Jeff Beck at the 2009 Mojo Awards/ CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Jeff Beck, 1944 – 2023

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Touring The Galaxies With Jeff Beck

a Fender Stratocaster
rides like a space ship
follow those sounds
around the room
up .up .up past the ceiling
over the rooftop
way past tree lines
above ragged craggy peaks
beats blues bolero buzz
crying to the moon
everything reverberates
as we rise like astronauts
soaring past everyone
Les Paul .Hendrix .Clapton
as we fly high …higher
wah wah wah wah

chords climb croon caress
slide ..sweep .. sing ..sigh
slow .. slip .. soar
rumble .. race .. rave
we follow the stars
as they glow silver gold
platinum plutonium
pandemonium
we jump past planets comets
meteorites asteroids
through nebulas stratospheres
galaxies.. bend .. shapeshift
everything we ever knew
lies behind .. beneath us
as we watch light bend
wah wah wah wah

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Listen to the 1975 recording of Jeff Beck playing “Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers,” with Max Middleton (keyboards); Phil Chen (bass); and Richard Bailey (percussion).  This performance is on Beck’s influential jazz-rock album,  Blow By Blow [Epic]

 

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Mary K O’Melveny, retired labor rights lawyer, lives with her wife near Woodstock, NY and Washington DC. Mary’s award-nominated poetry appears in print and on-line literary journals, anthologies and national blog sites. Mary has authored three poetry collections: A Woman of a Certain Age, Merging Star Hypotheses and Dispatches From The Memory Care Museum and co-authored two anthologies: An Apple In Her Hand and Rethinking The Ground Rules.

Visit her web site at https://www.marykomelvenypoet.com

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