Ode to Joan Baez

(To honor the conjunction of two Capricorn birthdays, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on January 15 and Joan Baez on January 9)


I too would have fallen

for your grave purity.

I have always

had a weakness for

a girl with a guitar.

Easy to see you

and Bobby as perfect

partners, too perfect--

sooner or later

you were bound to

crash that mirror.


Wondrously concentrated,

you presented to

a soul-starved world

a picture of soul.


No one's muse,

you became

a truth-teacher,

a courage-teacher,

harrowingly

tested by the bombs 

of Hanoi, the bullets

of Sarajevo.


Watching

old concert footage,

I fall in love--

that seduction of

the past, does it

catch at you too?

Do you also

ponder where

it went, that grace,

that dark wind

collected in the eyes

and in the voice's

unwavering clarity?


What hasn't

changed is 

that you were on

the right side of history.

Into our time, God

sent a Black Lion,

and you walked

a while beside

him on the path.

Because you not only

sang but spoke,

there are people

alive today

who did not kill,

who did not die.


(Originally appeared on the International Times web site, UK. http://internationaltimes.it/ode-to-joan-baez/)


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