“They All Inhabit the Night” — a poem by Michael L. Newell

June 28th, 2019




“Jazz in Red,” by Aleksandr Dudorov



They All Inhabit the Night

all night I dreamed I was lost
at sea in an alley on a battlefield
in a junkyard in a waterfront dive

when suddenly I found a room
filled with music where fear
was eased where losses were mourned

where hope was discovered where
horns and voices and rippling piano
blessed all who listened as a rainstorm

washed streets and buildings as lightning
flashed and thunder roared and music
blended in perfect harmony and suddenly

I recognized those who filled my dream
oh Ella whose scat singing sweeps away
all pain ah Lady Day who absorbs all grief

in your broken voice while Lester’s sax
soothes your heartbreak damn my eyes
and ears Coleman’s raw power matches

Joe Williams’ unfettered exuberance
note for note and the mighty Miles Trane
Cannonball collaboration makes a dreamer

kind of blue and thoroughly blessed
while Dizzy and Bird reinvent
music’s possibilities and I sing along

in my dream with wild abandon
pure sound with no words needed
until I wake with song fading

from my head yet buried in my heart
heirlooms of music I will never lose
as long as their magic names resound



by Michael L. Newell






Michael L. Newell is a retired English/Theatre teacher and long-time expatriate.  He now lives on the south-central Oregon coast.  Jazz is one of several preoccupations in his retirement, along with poetry, basketball, Appalachian music, Celtic music, and the beauty and power of large bodies of water.






Lester Young plays “Stardust”




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2 comments on ““They All Inhabit the Night” — a poem by Michael L. Newell”

  1. This knocks me out –
    “the mighty Miles Trane
    Cannonball collaboration makes a dreamer kind of blue ”
    I love it Michael!!!!

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