cruelest month, part 2

A couple of days ago I mentioned that April is National Poetry Month, and extended the invitation for you to share your music-themed poetry here. Vermont poet David Budbill responded with a work he wrote at the third annual “Fire in the Valley” avant-garde jazz and new music fest (Amherst, MA – July of 1998):


Jones/Baraka said:

My soul, a

quick note

settled in the flesh.

Yes, and unsettled too


we are here so briefly,

settled and unsettled and

each of us with a spirit and a rhythm

all our own.

Because as Gwendolyn Books said:

Never in this world will there be

anyone else like you.

Yes, settled and unsettled because

each of us: like no other

and here only once,

settled and unsettled,

a quick note in the flesh,

quick, hardly here

until it’s gone.

Therefore! brother, sister, friend,

you had better as the Psalmist say:

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands!

Serve the Lord with gladness!

Come into his presence with singing.

Praise him with the harp and timbrel!

Praise him with the bass and drums and saxophone!

Praise him with bells and poems and gongs!

Praise him with pots and pans and clapping hands!


brother, sister, friend,

you ain’t gonna be here long.


Thanks David! And, the offer’s still open to everyone: if you have original music-themed poetry you’d like to share leave a comment for me here with the poem and whatever you want to say about it. Spread the word: it’s National Poetry Month!

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