Two poems of reflection and remembrance

April 8th, 2020

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photo by Eric Frommer (transformed from color)/CC BY-SA 2.0

John Prine, 1946 – 2020

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Lament for Lost Friends

rain’s elegant tap dance
across rooftop across
windowpane has sorrowful
joy of old
folk tune plucked

on banjo and
mandolin the wind
fiddling an accompaniment
hum the melody
try to remember

all the friends
who are lost
to life’s travails
to death’s inevitability
sway to rhythm

and discover movements
steps ways for
body to dance
in a ceremony
summoning all who

have been known
known no longer
celebrate their presence
in a room
cocooned by rain

as long as
one mind remembers
they live and
the dance continues
friendship’s endless reel

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by Michael L. Newell
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Requiem for Ellis Marsalis

Defying gravity
his spirit dances
across ivory keys,
sweetening
the passion
of his playing.

Bop, post bop,
hard bop,
New Orleans
……..Jazz,
reflections
of oneness

Zee Blues.

Willow, weep.

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by Russell Dupont.

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Michael L. Newell lives on the Florida coast.

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Russell Dupont is an artist and an author. His paintings, prints and photographs have been widely exhibited and are in a number of public and private collections, including the Print Collection of The Boston Public Library; The Art Collections of both Brigham & Women’s Hospital and The Dana Farber Cancer Institute. He is a former artist-in-residence at the Milton Art Museum.

He is also the author of two novels — King & Train and Waiting for the Turk; two chapbooks of poetry – Winter, 1948 and Establishing Home Plate; and two non-fiction chapbooks — Up in Wisconsin: Travels with Kinsley and There Is No Dam Now At Richford.

Visit his website by clicking here

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John Prine sings “That’s the Way the World Goes Round” from his 1978 album Bruised Orange

 

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Ellis Marsalis plays “Prelude to a Kiss,” from his 1999 recording Duke in Blue

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Click here to read John Prine’s obituary in Rolling Stone

Click here to read Ellis Marsalis’ obituary in the New York Times

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3 comments on “Two poems of reflection and remembrance”

  1. Michael: Another one of your very best. The rain imagery, and all the friends who are lost. Down
    to “as long as, one mind remembers, they live. Very subtly done without punctuation and
    every image working in. One thing bothers me, but not about your poem. I tried to write
    about it. Where do the memories go, from two friends, when they are both gone ……..? Best, Alan

  2. If you are old enough to remember the golden age of jazz, you are old enough to have lost precious friends. Michael’s poem carries chords of sadness with it … and the inevitability of life as it is.

    As to Alan’s question of friends remembering and dying. My sister and I used to dwell on this very topic and concluded, only for us, that when we are gone, we take all of our memories with us. Life goes on and thus, we are important only to ourselves. It’s an ‘in our time’ moment.

    Requiem for Ellis Marsalis: a spare, and a so very effective remembrance.

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