Three poems…by Michael L. Newell

September 13th, 2022

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Reijo Koskinen / Lehtikuva, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Miles-Davis-1964-Helsinki

Miles Davis, 1964; Helsinki

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Lost In Music Of A Genius

Cool, cool, ineffably cool,
his trumpet grieves with
a restraint barely able to be
embraced by listeners, his music
is pain on ice, whiskey frozen

on tongue and lips;
his song will be carried
to listeners’ graves;
Miles has reached his resting place,
but his music which froze
heart and mind, allowed grief

to seep out slowly, still lives on
in audio and video; listeners
not alive when he died
listen and exude tears,
salt water that oozes into a world

of astonishing beauty that cares not
about us, yet sorrow and perfection
fill the world we see and the world
we hear from music left behind
by a flawed genius who knew beauty’s
pain and pain’s marriage to beauty.

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You Are Too Beautiful

The woman across the restaurant
smiled as she floated at her table,
while the juke box played, “You are

too beautiful and I am a fool for beauty.”
The pianist painted a solo that lifted us both

to our feet where we met, swirled, embraced,
silently investigated all movement available
to our limited bodies, and then once again

Johnny Hartman pointed out your beauty
and my foolishness for beauty, as piano

faded away, percussionist drifted final notes
into distance, and you swayed to your seat while I
drifted to my table as Coltrane slowly seated me.

I wonder whether beauty so entrances due to perfection
of feature or due to imagination of rapt beholder.

…………………(For Johnny Hartman and John Coltrane)

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The Concert Has Ended

It was over, all done, trees chopped, nuts cracked,
the bass swayed and wandered off stage into a forest,
with a soft, steady, thump, thump, thump; trumpet

lifted off, aloft crooning a rising tune in search

of some moon or another; sax relaxed into series

of screeches, scratches, whooshing hither and thither,
cloud-borne, and the wind grown reedy; drums
tapping their way home down dark, empty, chilly streets;

piano lifting off, and thudding back to earth, lifting off,
and twisting and spinning through a windstorm of rising
and falling notes, it splashes down into a river whose current

is wilder than the wilderness of notes indigenous to the piano;

over time all grows silent, not an instrument can be heard;

only wind, cracking branches, and the steady tap tap tap
of some old fool loose in a midnight world rambling, ambling
toward some unknown destination, maybe even home.

 

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Michael L. Newell lives in Florida. He has had seven books of poetry published in the last three years.

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Listen to the 1963 recording of John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman performing “You Are Too Beautiful,” with McCoy Tyner (piano); Jimmy Garrison (bass); and Elvin Jones (drums). [Universal Music Group]

 

 

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Click here to learn how to submit your poetry

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