“For a Moment,” by Bob Hecht
There You Are Again
Wind ransacks trees and bushes
up and down a hillside,
its voice a deep-throated moan
reflecting all mankind’s sorrow that betides,
such grief as resides
in cello or oboe,
or grieving widow;
ah, to know a song to sing
that brings peace to all things,
chant it into a suffering world
so majestic hope might be unfurled;
although in truth I would gladly accept
any comfort, no matter how inept.
Alone On A Night Street
Sailing through a midnight sky,
entangled in pine branches,
a golden full moon graces
the night with a beauty
comparable to a Bill Evans
or Duke Ellington solo,
nothing needed to expand
the floating vision;
the world is subtle, and repays
a lovely peace stripped
of life’s angst and anger;
the simple act of breathing
in and out is a form of prayer.
Privacy At Last
The stubborn ringing of the doorbell:
it can be no one I know as no one I know
knows where I live,
but the sound persists; it grows louder
like a swarm of angry hornets,
and the phone joins in, as though
it were a referee calling a foul
on my failure to act, to speak, to open
the door to whoever thinks I owe them
my time, my energy, my thought,
my tolerance for whatever they bring.
At last silence, and I return to my late
breakfast which is now cold, less inviting
than I was to whatever strangers were
demanding my attention at door and on phone.
I lean back in my chair, headsets in place so no one
will know of my presence and slip into dream
listening to the pianistic elegance of Duke Ellington,
a most welcome stranger who brings beauty minus
the demands of anything other than quiet pleasure.
Michael L. Newell is a poet who currently lives in Florida. He has published 17 books and chapbooks over the last 29 years. His most recent books are Traveling without Compass or Map (Bellowing Ark Press), Meditation of an Old Man Standing on a Bridge (Bellowing Ark Press), Wandering (Cyberwit.Net), and Each Step a Discovery (Cyberwit.Net). He is a retired English/Theatre teacher who has lived in 13 of the United States, and 13 countries on five continents outside the United States.
Bob Hecht is a resident of Portland, Oregon, and a frequent contributor to Jerry Jazz Musician. A selection of his photography can be found at his website by clicking here.
Listen to a 1953 recording of Duke Ellington playing “All Too Soon,” with Butch Ballard and drums and Wendell Marshall on bass.