Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Crying, Brown Bear


He kept me company
every Sunday
when I dragged myself
into the empty computer lab
in graduate school.

It was lonely work
crunching all them numbers
chasing my thesis,
but his plaintive
beautiful voice
sang to me
like a lost brown bear,
crying in the black night 
trying to find
his mate.

He wrung poignancy
out of every lyric
and when he played piano
it sounded like it had
a million keys
and was 30 feet long.

When I finally got the chance
to meet him
the following year,
he was as genteel and kind
as he was tall and dazzling
in his sharp blue blazer
and his sequined captain’s hat,
and my only regret
is that I shook his hand,

suppressing my instinct
to hug him.



18 comments:

  1. Nice tribute. And thanks for the clip. I likes me some blues.

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  2. music to soothe ... nicely done.

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  3. What a beautiful tribute, Mosk. Love this.

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  4. 'He wrung poignancy
    out of every lyric
    and when he played piano
    it sounded like it had
    a million keys
    and was 30 feet long.' Wow! I could hear it. This is really touching. Esp. the last line. Wonderful!

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  5. very nice tribute... love that tune as well.

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  6. Nice- the last lines really made the whole piece. Heartfelt.

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  7. what a cool tribute.. love the million keys
    and 30 feet long piano sound...wish i could play like this..

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  8. A beautiful tribute!!!!!

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  9. Awesome tribute. That last line is stellar.

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  10. very cool that you got to meet him...and yeah as familiar as he had become and as many days as you had passed together...a hug would have been perfect...

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  11. Awww.. what a lovely way of paying tribute to a guy who lived up to every single expectation you always had of him. Isn't that an amazing thing, to find that they are not all: 'Hey world, it's all about ME'
    What a lovely read. :)

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  12. the respect here is felt

    Peace

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  13. I have to agree, a wonderful tribute to an amazing musician!

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  14. A beautiful tribute to one of the greats. I totally understand how you feel - I'm so very happy I saw Etta James live in 2009 although I didn't have the pleasure of meeting her. We all have our idols and she is one of mine.

    "when he played piano
    it sounded like it had
    a million keys
    and was 30 feet long."

    What a great line!

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  15. but shaking his hand was still fabulous... this poem really shows your love and admiration, very nice!

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  16. The way your poem is structured, its phrasing, complements that of the clip. Plus, it's interesting how it's set up as a technology/nature comparison, you in the computer room and the bear in the woods, but then when we meet the singer, he's all snazzy and sparkly -- not bear-in-the-woods-like outwardly, only inwardly as you perceive him.

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  17. Oh yeah! This is great. Those companions in our long hours of work - who have seen us through. I loved the ending of this one. Remember the time I finally met a musical hero and was so tongue-tied I completely forgot everything I wanted to tell him! Thanks.

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  18. The last lines transcend this piece from a simple ode to a classic ode. Fantastic!
    Cheers,

    Mark Butkus

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