Healing Power of Music

Got to sing! And play music last night with dear collaborator Keir Nicholl for the first time in about nine months. Reunion! We had slowly and painstakingly been putting together a set of tunes when bam, this damn global pandemic hit. I feel bad for my professional musician friends; it was hard enough to make a living before Covid.

We worked to resurrect his evocative urban ballad, The Girl, The City and The Last Ping, adapted from my poem below. We love folk music and pulled out our version of Down in the Willow Garden/Rose Connolly. Rusty but happy! Perhaps we’ll be able to record and perform in the fall. It will be interesting to see the impact all this isolation has on venues and audiences.


After the girl is gone,
long gone, out of character,
statistical, presumed dead,
the Verifying Department
hops to, sniffs out
the revelers, especially
the life of the party,
his liquid engine of beer.
Anyone with information,
to confirm names and addresses,
substantiate stories?
They watch your gestures.
Read your face.

Last seen wearing a blue ski jacket,
white blouse, black jeans.
Phoenix tatto ascending
from the right hip.
Bright, unintentional dropout,
inadvertently delinquent.
Boyfriend person of interest
according to the RCMP.
Always. Constable passes the flyer.
Her cell phone may be dead,
last ping traced—pinpointed in fact—
to here. Right here. Last known location.
Right where we’re standing.
This town. Your pretty little town.

Fuckin’ A.
Check your property,
your shallow ditches.
So petite, she takes up little space
in the psyche,
turkey vultures lead us
not to her
body but a deer carcass.
Parents pray
to repair the squabbles. Home.
Local kids clam up,
weighting the secret with smoke.

A teenaged girl can forget
she’s graduated
the fenced-in yards of childhood
to this vast plain
where condoms provide safety,
sympathy muttered.
She forgot
townies find transcendence in fury,
one vaguely recalling
Eminem shouts,
a catfight in the backyard.
She looked kinda posh,
smashed-herd fumbling,
fawning, pushing. Over. Under.
Dancing. Sending her sailing.

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