“In Search of an Elegy” — a poem (for Bill Evans) by Larsen Bowker

April 15th, 2016

billevans

       

 

IN SEARCH OF AN ELEGY

I’ll have it spare as the reverence you feel for silence
     in your long melodic lines, where the music cries

in the sacred spaces you leave between the notes…
     I’ll have the long curve of your back bending over

your shadow on the keys as you play “Turn Out
     the Stars”, written for your father when he died,

Blue Notes stretching out as if you’d have them last
     forever in the Renaissance portrait you painted

for an abstract world…I’ll have the moon take noise
     out of the music because—like DeBussy—you

knew that though notes are many, the truest follow
     the yellow leaf falling through the stillness of autumn

light, always searching for songs that never stop to kiss
     …I’ll have Scott La Faro’s bass, pulsing with ‘bright

darkness’ and Paul Motian’s brushed percussion keep
     you safe from your too intricate “figure in the carpet”,

and I’ll challenge your Muse, “why confine this prayer
     to heaven—why not let kindred souls here on earth

share the best of what you do and are, let them find
     with you that though we die a little everyday, we can

as easily declare, that we grow stronger day by day.

           

   – for Bill Evans
              1929-1980

 

 

About Larsen Bowker

larsen

Larsen Bowker is retired from teaching, coaching and other mundanities to concentrate on the writing of poetry, which he sorely wishes he had begun earlier, because, as his granddaughter at eleven pointed out, “grandpa you are fast approaching your ‘sell by date’”.  Bowker has had poems published recently in Atlanta Review, Poem, Pearl and Iconoclast. His sixth book of poems, Between Two Rivers, was published in 2015 by Bellowing Ark Press.

 

 

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Bill Evans plays “Turn Out the Stars”

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