Saturday, May 16, 2009

अंकल अल Seventeen

Farewell Mr. Miyagi: Uncle Al Seventeen

Somewhere over the distant horizon
I write this for you
Only you
A Hawaiian song fills my eyes with tears
Tears upon a thorny heart
Heart upon an empty throne
I write this at your service
Your graduation from this world to the next
I write this, a farewell
The only gift I can give you
A gift for all you gave
Wrapped in compassion, a bow of reflection
Gifts to those who you did not know
A thousand acts of kindness

Somewhere over the rainbow
I know you'll be there
Somewhere among the lemon drops
You and the blue bird

I wish I could sing your song
But I would lose all control
I'd feel the pain
Not be able to face it's merciless hand
So I sit, thoughts of all you've given
All you've left
Smiles on the faces of all you've met
On your endless journey
The miles of road
The led through the Gold Country and Sierra Mountains
Road paved strong with your kindness
Aloha Uncle Al
Farewell Uncle to all
Nieces, nephews, brothers and sisters
Friends and extended members of your fraternal tribe
Members of the human spirit
Of human kindness
All speak of their love
You, uncle to the world
Cool uncle, Mr. Miyagi
Wipe on, wipe my tears
Teaching life's lesson's one word at a time
Somewhere over the rainbow
Somewhere over distant horizons
I write this for you
Only for you
Poetry on brown paper bags
Talk speak on cocktail napkins
Written on the spot, flowing like life
Like life's blood, in veins flowing
Flowing freely like the miles
Like Miles Davis horn on a tear
Like dizzy on a dime store record
Like free form jazz after midnight

Your Chinatown will still stand
Your causes still fought
Your seeds now sown
Within a thousand hands
Your ink now flows
In the hands of others
In your name
Farewell Mr. Miyagi
North beach calls you humble name
Jazz beat poet knows your song
Words dance like two a.m. fog
Swirling in mist of jumbled thought
From the bowels of a smokey nightclub
Your words born from ancestral truth
The din of your verbal tone
Becomes a mighty roar
A clash like oil and water
Like fire and ice
Like Yin and Yang
Both parts must join
In a syncopated rhythm of soul
Across a passive landscape
Your words erupt
In the unspoken language
The unspoken language
Of traveler's tales
Abstract expressionist writings of a man possessed
Words that blur like speeding cars
Imagery crackling like grinding gears
Spoken tongue from clay crafted words
Molded into raw emotion
Carved into words cast in silken cocoon

The hard luck club opens old doors
Cracked and peeling on a rusted frame
Nailed together with sweat of heart
Toil of blistered hand
Song of the empty fist
Tales of late night hours
Sung by fast living ladies and renegade priests
The heart of this city weeps for you
I write this for you
Only for you
Somewhere over the rainbow

The daylight comes
After the fact
In a quiet room tea fills the air
The tea ceremony begins under watchful eyes
Magic of the tea leaves
Spells out a thousand fates
Dancing within it's earthen cup
A story unfolds like origami wisdom
It's words gathered like grains of rice
You harvest them on a paper bag
Your shape them into Talk Story tales
Of logic and heart
They become one with your inner child
Who shines from eyes wise and aged
Somewhere over the rainbow
Your tea ceremony is ready to start
One day old Manong
I'll meet you there

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