11.06.2013

Harmony's River

If life is a river
and music its current,
I’ve been prone
at the base of this mountain
as your words splash
in rivulets down its sides,
catching some in my mouth
for nourishment,
letting others murmur downhill
to join the stream of songs
we know by heart.
Now you’re gone,
this song-bed will dry;
I’ll seek new sources
but there’s no hope like yours.
One day we’ll meet north
of your moon, south of stars
and I’ll thank you.

In memory of Charlie Chesterman, who will never know how much his songs mean to this humble verse-scribbler. Fly high, Cowboy--

I used some of Ed Pilolla’s nice word list for the Real Toads. It’s also #6 of 30 Poems in November to benefit Center for New Americans.

23 comments:

  1. This is such an accolade to a singer, part joyous and part mourning and a promise never to forget. I think it is very special indeed.

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    1. thank you, Kerry. i'm quite broken up over his passing, a songwriter who's inspired me and has directly influenced my own work greatly.

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  2. Had me with the opening lines, Marian. The river flows, from the source within, and some of us have a way of making rafts out of notes, words, and the intangibles they represent, so the rest of us don't drown. It is hard to let them go, but the music remains.

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  3. Music IS the current of life ... as is poetry, literature, film, theatre. This is a lovely tribute and the perfect way to use Ed's words.

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  4. I love the closing lines. Beautiful work, Marian.

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  5. a great tribute so beautifully expressed...........

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  6. this poem move me to mourning, it is so tapped into that emotion. i also think marrying that angle to the theme of a river is rather brilliant as well. the word 'join' is so wonderfully expressive here.

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  7. This is so gorgeous. Is there and word more interesting than rivulet? Your words are enriching and sustaining.

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  8. "Now you're gone this song-bed will dry". A loving tribute. I hope Charlie can read it from wherever he is.

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  9. you have given me somebody to explore...I wasn't familiar with Charlie but I'm gonna be... :)

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    1. so glad! in the eighties he fronted Scruffy the Cat, maybe you're heard of them. from Boston.
      i believe one of the most perfect records ever recorded is Studebakersfield by Charlie Chesterman. so maybe start there. :)

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  10. So beautiful, Marian, so sad when inspirations die.
    Luv, K

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  11. Just FINE poetry - I really can't pick out one line - the whole is a gift! Wow.

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  12. Marian, of course you know I'm a musician, so you caught me by the soulstrings with this. What a touching tribute to an artist you truly respect. The words lent themselves so well to this poem! I especially loved the thought, "this song-bed will dry." Really conveys your sorrow. Peace, Amy

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  13. thank you, dear friends. this is a tremendous loss. xoxo

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  14. we are lucky to have this method of expression to help us grieve. you've done well here

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    1. true... it really does help to write it out. thanks :)

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  15. quite the multi-tasker, marian :)

    really beautiful imagery ~

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  16. Sad and beautifully written~ I am sorry for your loss!

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  17. I am of the opinion that a little more length suits your voice very nicely; this is part valediction, part lamentation, and all terrific.

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