Consoling Exchanges and Rhythm Changes

Consoling Exchanges and Rhythm Changes

Whiter than white,
but warming to human touch,
just a stone’s throw away
from sticks and brush.

Hit the dirt shuffling;
pay no attention to rags and bones
or the masked tears and shouts
to send him home.

Behind the waiting icons,
stone-faced crests,
four-on-the-floor
and decrescendo into cemetrical rests.

On with the procession,
flowers and earth,
and though we pray for accession,
we wonder what we’re worth.

Behind the drummers I stand,
on coattails wailing in rhythmic changes.
In grace, play on will the band
through a wake of consoling exchanges.

Thoughts turn to gigs
and words not remembered.
Just impressions of sentiment
and passion untempered.

Then just for a moment,
before the moment is gone,
I nod my head
as I remember a song.

Twas a rim shot that glistened,
a parting shot from him,
but first you must listen …
to the beat of where he’s been.

Author’s note: Written at the funeral of an amazing musician, a Jazz drummer and percussionist, who I was fortunate and honored to have blown a few notes with. He was truly a rimshot from the outer rim and always true to his own form. I prefer not to include his name here because his legacy, his music, should speak for itself. Moreover, in my one life, I have spent more than most cats with nine lives in cemeteries. My thoughts above, also express those experiences.

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