“Satchmo” — a poem by Russell MacClaren

June 7th, 2016

“Louis Armstrong,” by Gene Pendon

louis

 

SATCHMO

Barnacles scratch the hull of a voice
that grinds coral to grit in salty water
while a tune plays the tide
which whispers sandy beaches
and blows free on the wind.

Ships far from port halt in the night
to hear the fog-horn song,
to feel, to know and share
connection with another
who wanders far from home.

Notes flee crystal trumpet,
escape haunting harmony
to splash and play on waves
that roll from deeps
of sea and shore and sky.

Rasp and smooth combine,
make love to one another…
Hard and soft on ear —
beat through hearts,
connect in siren song!

 

 

_____

 

russ

 

Russell MacClaren grew up in New Orleans where he participated in every activity healthy young men can pursue. He majored in English literature at SLC in Hammond, Louisiana where his education was interrupted in his senior year by a tour of duty in Vietnam, where he served honorably in the 173rd Airborne Brigade.

After his tour, Russell returned to school, served as a Scoutmaster, baseball and soccer coach, then went on the road for years as a journeyman electrician, teaching in the electrical apprenticeship program at Wake Tech in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina. Now retired, he has become a dedicated writer and poet, overseeing poetry workshops, reading on public television in North Carolina and working with several writer’s groups after his return to New Orleans.

His poetry has been published in numerous small presses and anthologies. His third personal volume of poetry, Hand in Hand—a book of love poetry, is about to be released, soon available through Amazon and Authorhouse books in black and white, color and e-book versions.

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23 comments on ““Satchmo” — a poem by Russell MacClaren”

  1. Oh my! What a great poem! I live in New Orleans and the mood of ships hearing the song is so true. The poem has the resonance of a cool, foggy night on the river. Great writing. We want more from this author.
    Carolyn Hill

  2. Oh my! What a great poem! I live in New Orleans and the mood of ships hearing the song is so true. The poem has the resonance of a cool, foggy night on the river. Great writing. We want more from this author.
    Carolyn Hill

  3. Ray, your first line brings us in. We remember Satchmo’s expressive qualities in singing to us and playing his trumpet. Your words recall him to us so well. – Kathy Burns

  4. Ray, your first line brings us in. We remember Satchmo’s expressive qualities in singing to us and playing his trumpet. Your words recall him to us so well. – Kathy Burns

  5. Thank you for this poem. I am also reminded of the story about Armstrong playing in bands on riverboats up and down the Mississippi – and maybe a young Bix heard his trumpet out across the waters at night down at the river’s edge by Davenport. (I remember this story from Ken Burns’s series – hope it’s true.)

  6. Thank you for this poem. I am also reminded of the story about Armstrong playing in bands on riverboats up and down the Mississippi – and maybe a young Bix heard his trumpet out across the waters at night down at the river’s edge by Davenport. (I remember this story from Ken Burns’s series – hope it’s true.)

  7. While reading these lines I can smell and taste the salt water, feel the air and sense the presence of those around me, during a flash visit to the New Orleans coast.

  8. While reading these lines I can smell and taste the salt water, feel the air and sense the presence of those around me, during a flash visit to the New Orleans coast.

  9. Music, scents, sounds of the river, emotions – all brought so vividly to life. A really great poem – and Poet!

  10. I hvent been in this place yet but I can deeply imagine the scenery of this beautiful place because of the very magnificent and beautiful poem. thanks to the author. continue inspiring everybodys lives with your poems. 2thumbs up

  11. I hvent been in this place yet but I can deeply imagine the scenery of this beautiful place because of the very magnificent and beautiful poem. thanks to the author. continue inspiring everybodys lives with your poems. 2thumbs up

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