In Memory of Miles Davis

An obsidian Gabriel, taking his time
Out of time and reshaping it
In twists and curves
Of polished brass, until it emerged
Blown timeless from the bell.

At times, time would explode
From his horn as a fire
Red fury of notes,
At others would leak out soft
And linger, like a swirling
Cool blue smoke.

As he expanded on a Spanish concierto,
Sketched images of 52nd Street
Or perforated an old carol
With strangely appropriate arabesques,
Time, always, would bend with his breath
And wrap itself around the worlds
He created in both our minds,
Music in and out of time.

And those final phrases:
“Mr. Pastorius” coming to an end.
All that ceaseless upward striving;
Abandon, surrender, control.
Which seems even now to say it all.
Miles to go. Miles gone.
Leaving my time now with nothing
But echoes from a muted horn.

 

© Mark Milner

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