Sunday, May 15, 2016

Poetry Today: Trends & Traditions 
Elegies In Memoriam

Compiled and Formatted 
by Anthony Servante
May 2016

John Keats (1795-1821)

Elegies have come in many forms over the years. The kind words at the wake, the memorium at the funeral, the toast after the burial. And just as the first handful of dirt is tossed over the coffin, the words are carried off in the fleeting winds of time. But Elegy Poetry is forever. It is concretized with the ink of wisdom and love. Think of "Adonais: An Elegy on the Death of John Keats" by Percy Bysshe Shelley or "In Memoriam: A.H.H." by Alfred Lord Tennyson, and you remember the words as much as the person the verse memorializes. To continue this poetic tradition, I invited poets to elegize loved ones with a Elegy Poem. With us today, we have Michael H. Hanson praising singer/songwriter Prince, Anthony Crowley commemorating the Godfather of Glam Rock David Bowie, Lemmy Rushmore lamenting the passing of Rock Giant Lemmy Kilmister, Kim Acrylic honoring Doors legend Jim Morrison, Anthony Servante remembering the Cinema Icon Sal Mineo, and Bridget Wishart immortalizing both her father and her friend "Sunny" in word and song. We renew the inscriptions on the monuments of our memories with these elegies for our readers to share. 

We begin with the wordsmith Mr. Hanson.

Michael H. Hanson
For Prince (1958-2016)

The Abdication
by Michael H. Hanson
A flock of paisley angels sing while wearing raspberry berets, you were the revolution's king whose reign will now no longer blaze.
Heaven sheds tears of purple rain for nothing can compare to you, yes even when your name was slain it had to resurrect anew.
You must have known it was the time that chocolate flesh would not endure, that your love symbol could not rhyme in a harsh world that was not pure.
This is a sad indigo night, our grief is at a concert pitch, a curtain call of violet light, you're crossing the graffiti bridge.
Beneath an April cherry moon sign O’ the time in Eden’s clime the rainbow children welcome you and muses sigh as all doves cry.
 RIP Prince, 1958 - 2016

Anthony Crowley
For David Bowie (1947-2016)

Space Age Chameleon

A distant dreamer overseeing an earthly crowd
an eternal changing illuminating face
a planetary thinker refreshingly awakens
a golden space boy with reflective eyes from Mars
Shining with a fashionable smile
the composing of terrestrial music
voiced within the comfort of the stars

Unwrapped visual spectacles
In an age of a curious kind
Cupid's one-willed, arrowed explorer
Pierces humanity with a social accepting glow
Returning to Mars with an inventive suitcase in hand
once a living astral nomad
other worlds begin to cheer
a new age deliverance
from a space age hero
composing the words of life
the Duke's arrival of glitter from sand

Dancing from a new born sun
solar spectators with Icarus wings open wide
a new world tomorrow upon the black star ride

© Anthony Crowley 2016

Lemmy Rushmore
For Lemmy Kilmister (1945-2015)

King of Kings

he was cooler than cool 
without needing to try 
truly one of a kind 
yet a regular guy

to the stage he would step 
always ready for war 
where he’d see that his fans 
would be rocked to the core

through the years he evolved 
yet he’d never conform 
such a legend he was 
yet so charming and warm

in that rough voice he had 
like he’d gargled with blades 
he’d claim manners were cheap 
and he had them in spades

such a chivalrous gent 
yet a metal machine 
with a look and a way 
unlike any we’ve seen

Rickenbacker in hand 
his strong will was imposed 
for the music he lived 
and great tunes he composed

he wrote lyrics that killed 
he brought crowds to their feet 
and held them by their throat 
until that final beat

he may not have fit in 
but he carved his own space 
it seems Lemmy’s the one 
none can ever replace…

Lemmy Rushmore
For Lemmy Kilmister

Kim Acrylic
For Jim Morrison (1943-1971)

"Jim Morrison On His Death Day."

Was it his demise or his blacked out birth?

Did it begin when buried or while on earth?

That he inspired the mad creators,

The drug riddled masturbators Wings made from claws,

His hands firmed into wild paws.

An intense genius master,

Mythical, rock ''N' roll disaster.

Always worshipped from a far,

Dead in a bath, raised in a bar.

A back door, dark clown man,

Such a delicate, ginger, fawn fan.

Voice of frozen ribbon and lace,

Fallen angel so far from his Grace.

No fear just a craving for a death,

Welcomed the unknown with each passing breath. 

Such magnetic perversion up on stage,

Backstage was always underage.

The legend came forth fast in mere years,

Indians dancing, stoned on imported beers.

So to the Lizard King we will forever say cheers!

Anthony Servante
For Sal Mineo (1939-1976)

(On February 12, 1976, Sal Mineo was coming home late one night to his apartment building in West Hollywood after rehearsals for "P.S. Your Cat is Dead"; he was stabbed to death by a robber who insisted he didn't even know who his victim was. Mineo was only a few yards away from reaching his apartment when he was attacked. His cries for help fell on deaf ears. Early on in his career, Mineo was in high demand for film roles after winning critical praise and Academy Award nominations in such movies as "Rebel Without a Cause" (1955) and "Exodus" (1960). When Hollywood discovered he was Gay (homosexual, although he preferred the term "bisexual"), his career came to a stand-still, but he persevered through television roles in such programs as Combat!! and Columbo. P.S. Your Cat is Dead was the upturn for his career as Hollywood began to accept the Gay community behind and before the camera, but his untimely death ended his return to limelight. Sal Mineo has become an icon to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community (LGBT). His death served notice to the Hollywood community that the Gay community was no longer going to be silent about their perceived indifference to its members, for many believed that no one came to Mineo's aid because he was Gay. It has since been learned that Sal in all probability was the victim of a robbery. Still, the community continues to honor him.) 

An Ode to a Midnight Rainbow:

by Anthony Servante

When you burned like a fallen star
on the grass of the Griffith Park Observatory;

When you felt the hot breath of a million fans
reading your name on the movie marquees; 

When you fell from grace with one bite
from the apple of Hollywood's taboo tree;

When you hit bottom but cherished
the promise of gazing skyward once again;

When you rose like a Phoenix 
on the television screens across America;

When you found hope born anew
on the theater stage and tomorrow
and tomorrow;

When you were alone with Death
in the shadows of a Hollywood alley;

When you cried for help
and Life slowed to a prayer for a hero
in a town of cowards;
When a past of stardom didn't matter
and a future of hope closed its eyes;
When a nudge from Mr. Immortality was no comfort
as the first drop of blood was spilled;
When the last memory was forged
in the acceptance of the inescapable
and help arrived after the curtain fell--

We carried your heavy soul to Heaven 
brimming with your tears
falling from our eyes 
and we were one step closer
to your forever and forever.

Rest in Peace,
Sal Mineo. 

For her "Dad" and "Sunny"

B Wishart September 2015

I can see you smile in my mind
I can feel your hand over mine
And I miss you, oh I miss you
All the time

I hear your voice in my sleep
Tears fall but I can’t weep
Every day (every day every day….)
Every day is just the same

Walking through my dreams you live and breathe
Your presence gives me peace, leaves me weak
And I miss you oh I miss you
All the time              

Sail the seas of space and time
Build a bridge that’s yours and mine
Wear your wings and when you fly
Take your time, take your time
Say goodbye  

    A Song for Sunny 
  (lyrics below)

Call Your Name
B. Wishart Aug 1993

Look back and see
Your family
And their pain

They don’t know why
You took your life
They’ll never be with you again

Can you hear her call your name?
Can you hear her call your name?

You set your spirit free
To another destiny
You didn’t wait to see
What could’ve been

You’ve gone
And you’re so young
To be leaving us
To grieving
In a life
That seems
Too bare
Without you there


Thank you, readers, for visiting today and sharing the joy of sadness as only poetry can capture. And thank you, poets, for your words. Until next time, we look forward to your comments and thoughts. Feel free to say a few words for a loved one of your own. 

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