Long Time Coming

LONG TIME COMING

……………………………………………………………….For K. J.

Daemon madman, fount of the divine:
Shoulders hunched, fingers bunched,
Punched key crashing chord stabs,
Stops and starts.

Here is the valid poet
Whose echoes ache, whose verses thrum,
Whose tongue unlocks, whose fingers
Weave a certain oceanic boogie
To sew up the strifetorn heart.

Bares his cross and makes
The mosaic mystery crystal clear,
As glass from sand.
(See one grain of sand
You’ve seen ’em all.)

For he’s already died
And lives to be.
The time you need not his
To give or to withhold;

You can take all the time you want
But you’ll have to pay it back.
And though he knows
That you must die before you live
Still he hopes to help you live before you die.

——————————————————————

This poem was inspired by Keith Jarrett’s “Köln Concert (Part 1)”. The video I found is bound to be withdrawn soon, so watch it before it disappears, or better yet buy the CD and travel there whenever you want. When I originally bought it back in the vinyl days people used to get fed up because I kept playing it all the time. You’ll hear why. I heard it again in Madras in 1978, coming from a hotel room. I knocked on their door, went in and told them I’d heard it so I wanted to say hello. This piece of music, free improvisation, live on stage, is one of the great pieces of 20th century music. Yes. I know it’s long, but the 26+ minutes are well worth it. Dare you to keep your eyes dry.

Can I note also that “mosaic” has another significant meaning beyond the one everyone knows. This word play is deliberate, and important enough that I’d hate it to be missed.

THIS VIDEO WAS INDEED TAKEN DOWN I’M AFRAID

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About Ben Naga

Pilgrim on the lam. Please feel free to explore the links to learn more. I trust you will find some things there will have been worth the effort. See you there.

Posted on March 17, 2012, in Poetry, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. Darn, I’m too late. Video no longer available!
    But I enjoyed your poem, Ben, and can create the scenario in my head. Maybe not the one intended, but it’s there just the same. “Mosaic mystery”…. hmmmm, love the phrase. (I just looked up the other meaning of “mosaic” – interesting – I didn’t know that!)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. LadyBlueRose's Thoughts Into Words

    I missed the video, but listen to him on youtube…
    I had not heard of him, but I like that you mentioned him
    and I didn’t know that definition, interesting,..
    learned two things today…good music
    and a new meaning…

    Take Care…
    )0(..

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “You can take all the time you want
    But you’ll have to pay it back.”

    So true

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I once wrote an epic poem, Ben. In the “Invocation to the Epic Muse” I had a few lines:

    O, listen to the winds inside my mind,
    O muse, O Calliope, Moon Woman, water mixed
    Into the Hippocrene’s deep well where Pegasus
    Once struck his hoof and made a drinking place
    For poets mad enough to court their frenzied dreams.
    Stir up my words inside the winds and make
    A tempest strong enough to bear this tale.

    that seem embedded in this poem of yours.

    Here is the valid poet:
    Whose echoes ache, whose verses thrum,
    Whose tongue unlocks, whose fingers
    Weave a certain oceanic boogie
    To sew up the strifetorn heart.
    “An oceanic boogie,” what a wonderful serendipitous phrase!

    For he’s already died
    And lives to be.

    You love music, of course. That’s obvious from much of this blog, but here you are translating music into words, courting the frenzied dreams of true poets, and by doing so you come up with language that are not words marching across the page, but is a boogie that makes the reader forget the page and dance inside words inside their head as if that is the true reality and reality itself is really nothing more than visions in the mind.

    The very greatest poetry of all does not mean, but lives to be even though the poet, or artist, as already died.

    I’ve read poetry like this poem that you’ve written before, and I celebrate this poem and that poetry.

    Liked by 1 person

    • O to be able to write consistently at this level …

      “as if that is the true reality and reality itself is really nothing more than visions in the mind.”

      And who is to say that that is not true?

      Like

  5. Ben, now that I’ve heard the concert, I can appreciate your poem even more! Thomas is right – it’s amazing how you translated his music into your own words. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

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