Two wintry jazz poems — by Michael L. Newell

January 17th, 2019

 

 

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ONE NOTE BLUES

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The snow flows
…………across the night
………………………….each flake a note

one pure blues note
…………unrepeated unequalled
………………………….throughout all recorded time

one long note from sky
…………to earth bending up down
………………………….and around on its way

to the cool cool ground
…………just waiting for the light
………………………….too light to be measured

moment of landing
…………end of flight end
………………………….of tumbling turning

life an eternity
…………a moment ended in
………………………….the perfect blues note

wavering fading
…………vanishing into white
………………………….death on death

the melting a release
…………of millions of one note
………………………….songs into memory

where they will creep out
…………at the damnedest times
………………………….into a moment’s light

and sound clear
…………as a Clark Terry
………………………….high note before the long

slow slide
…………back into
………………………….memory’s recesses.

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    (Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Winter 1998)

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by Michael L. Newell

 

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AT A WINDOW

 

Snow was falling, winding
sheets in Amman’s dusk,
years spiraling past.

………………………………………………..Miles ’round midnight
………………………………………………..blew blue notes
………………………………………………..each cooler than the snow.

No cold, there was no cold like memory,
frozen on a windowsill, the liquid
of her voice embalmed.

………………………………………………..Notes cracked, ice
………………………………………………..ready for a thaw,
………………………………………………..the wind hinting at life’s losses.

Heaters rumbled bass notes,
the shutters shivered in irregular rhythm,
the horn held it all together, a winter psalm.

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………………………….Amman, Jordan, December 1992

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by Michael L. Newell

 

 

 

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Michael L. Newell is a retired English/Theatre teacher who has spent one-third of his life abroad. He now lives on the Oregon coast. In addition to the recent publication of his new book, Meditation of an Old Man Standing on a Bridge, he hasrecently had poems published in Verse-Virtual and Current.

Click here to access all of Michael L. Newell’s poetry published on Jerry Jazz Musician

To order a copy of the book, contact BELLOWING ARK PRESS 18040 7th Avenue NE Shoreline, WA 98155

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One comments on “Two wintry jazz poems — by Michael L. Newell”

  1. I really enjoyed both of these, Michael: the compactness of the form of each certainly, and in particular the way in which music and place merge to create the atmosphere in the Amman poem.

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