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In My Father’s House

Always first to rise

he usually sliped into daybreak

like a phantom – heading

(in jacket jeans white socks & loafers)

for Alemeda

the drowsy traffic

& buzzing electronics of Naval Air

But he plays a horn

& some mornings caught him

aching with jazz – reeling

in its chemistry & might:

Duke Bird Basie

riffs chords changes

softly grunted & mouthed

in his closet

in the hallway in

all the glory of the sunrise

 Who knows what spirits

shimmer through the neurons

& accustics of his sleep

before these mornings:

black Beethoven

shunning his own deafness

for the sake of symphony

a Haitian drummer –

eyes shut in the moonlight –

mounted by divine horsemen

who flash through his hands

pretty Billy

eating gardenias with a needle

singing the blues away

 Maybe urges older than oceans

startle him in the shower

or in the livingroom

on his way out the door

comple him to swipe moments

from time he doesn’t have

in to notes across

pitiless lined sheets

that have waited on the piano all night

for beat and harmony to marry

On these mornings

he met the man with ease

didn’t carry no heavy load

Car horns were trumpets

fog horns bassons

train whistles blushing saxophones

On these mornings

he jammed with angels

popped his fingers

to music in his head

filled his great lungs

with cool air.

George Barlow

As we sort thru those mornings

where we meet the men with heavy loads,

try to find the symphony in the car horns

the train whistles,  the harmony

in the disharmony  all around us.

On these mornings jam with the angels,

Hear Duke, Bird and Basie

Pop your fingers to the music

in your head.



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