Uh, this is, this poem is specifically for the master of the tenor saxophone, uh, the immortal John Coltrane. Um, and, uh, there have been a lot of poems written, um, mentioning Coltrane, the contributions he made to black music, but none specifically about him-that I know of-and none that, um, that go into what I consider his greatest piece, A Love Supreme. And I wrote this with A Love Supreme in mind. It's called "... and Then He Wrote Meditations"
Straddling the darkness He controlled the bucking thrusts and rode on Into the emptiness that, he alone, would try to fill Into the middle to try and be the bridge between spirits "Expand, " he screamed The vacuum was aroused, suspicious, and alarmed Who would dare? But on he rode
The tailwinds were from Africa The bass and force were timeless rhythms that restructured beat and consciousness The chasms between seconds Were made real and whole New targets imploded within the void Holes were punctured through ebony nothingness And resistance increased, walls appeared
Rise up, train. The answer is just beyond the next wall Rise up, train. The answer is just Beyond the next wall The train rose up
No one had ever so thoroughly defied the night The crosswinds were from the east Lyrical assessments, harmonic sirens that called gut-deep into Never-seen, yet half-remembered desires Is there a reincarnation, oh Lord? Do I recognize a part of me that is dying In the crevices of all these bleak skulls Lying conception-less here? Non-existence attacked the man "Go back, intruder! You are not welcome here! We have no need for your emotions here! We have no emotion here" But obscurity was losing its grip The inky blackness gave way to grey shadows The canvas of limbo became a veil Porous and smoking from the heat As rays of light touched upon never illuminated concern
The screams grew louder The once placid nightmare of soundlessness was crumbling Giving way to cries "Go back! Go back! Go back! " And screams of pain and anger In this the place you seek, black traveler, he was asked In this place we will tear the flesh from your body Here we will gladly crush your skull pour acid on your exposed and rotting brain But we never let you die We hold you here alone and, worst of all Aware of all that we do to you We hold you captive here in Hell "But come, " said the wind The threats were not the only sound The faint throb of warmth that lay vibrating just beyond the horror of Hell Was a magnet pulling and reaching, drawing him on "Come. Hell is past for you, " said the wind And the rhythms of heaven absorbed him
A Love Supreme A Love Supreme A Love Supreme A Love Supreme And then John Coltrane wrote Meditations
That's it. It's called "... and Then He Wrote Meditations, " and it's for John Coltrane