Get Your Premium Membership

Best Poems Written by Michael Ellis

Below are the all-time best Michael Ellis poems as chosen by PoetrySoup members

View ALL Michael Ellis Poems

12
Details | Michael Ellis Poem

Thirty-Eight, Cancer Poem: For Sharon

Thirty Eight ( Corny Cancer Poem) For Sharon

Hallmark has a million cards in their catalog
And not one of them says,
Life Sucks
American greetings had nothing that says
Thirty-eight and  Never coming home
So I hope it’s not too late to write this poem


After your eighth round of Chemo,
The Doctor says the best medicine is prayer
Any Pre-med drop out
Or High school Health student
Can interpret what this means
But it still just isn’t fair-


           Still who am I to be a pessimist?


And I apologize for screaming at your surgeons
(Telling  them to stop comparing 
your tumors to fruit)
For telling them you aren’t a damn fruit stand
Even for tossing those fruit diagrams 
In the Hazmat can

Sorry if I let things get out of hand

Tomorrow they get to pull out
Their zapper instruments
And shoot at your cells like you are
One of those Nintendo video games
Over and over again
And I get to sit in the waiting room
Hoping the red cells surrender
And the white ones win

  
And Tylenol has a zillion dollars
And can’t even find a cure for cancer
Bayer pharmaceuticals has no answer

And if you die at thirty-eight
I’ll probably boycott Tylenol
For the next twenty-three years
Advil for the next twenty-two
Blaming both of them
For not saving you


Forty calls to Bayer pharmaceuticals 
And not a single one returned
What kind of heroes are they
When they aren’t even concerned?


And I’m pissed off at Obama
And Dr. Phil and Oprah too
And all Nationally syndicated talk show host
Who are talking about who slept with who
When they should be talking about 
YOU


I’m also ticked at a thousand Nazis
And twenty millions gangbangers 
And eight-hundred serial killers
Who have working organs
When all you need is just one-


Still I know you wouldn’t even accept it
Even if there was a law that said you could
And you would say something corny like
God loves bad people as much
As he does the good

And i wish i could snatch 
half of my lymph nodes
And give them to you
But no Doctor would approve the surgery

So what else can i do
Except write this silly poem for you
except watch you lose weight and hair
And listen to doctors suggest prayer

And more chemo only means
More Hallmark moments at the hospital
And more crying, more dying
More doctors and chaplains lying


But mostly I’ll never get to figure out
How it took you thirty minutes
At Build-A-Yogurt in the mall
And they only had six flavors-
Even after I told you
Chocolate Coconut Sprinkle
 Was really the best of all


Tonight your children get to sleep in your bed
And pretend You’re coming home
And I get to cry for them and finish
This corny cancer poems

Copyright © Michael Ellis | Year Posted 2015



Details | Michael Ellis Poem

Worst Love Poem Ever Written

I suck at dying poems
Chemo poems, Metastatic Cancer poems,
Hair falling out in the shower poems
 
And I told a half truth
When I told you I could write you one
In less than six months (It's been eight)
I apologize for being so late

I wanted your poem to be pink and graceful
Like those ribbons
I see all over the internet
Filled with cheesy generic rhymes
That could get me hired by Hallmark

 I just know my metaphors will start melting
And that my similes will get all soft
 I guarantee you the rhyme meter will be off

I went to Google
And the typed in the word 'happy'
Three billion things came up
Not a single inference to
Breast cancer, hair loss
No redirects to mastectomies

The only thing research could teach me
Is that a good day on chemo
Is when your stool doesn't come out tar Black
And has no blood in it
Or when your urine
Smells better on Wednesday
Than it did on Tuesday
Sleeping less than 12 hours
When 24 would be better

Still I refuse to finish this poem
Without something bright and hopeful
And I know I'm doing a horrible job

America has more poets
Than it does alcoholics
   And Pot smokers combined
And you chose me to be
Your Breast Cancer
Poet Laureate
Trusting me to write a poem
About the biggest battle in your life

And don't think
I didn't notice your Facebook activity
Had decreased by 88%
In the last three months

And you aren't really
Coming to any more of my poetry shows
Ever again. Are you??
But we still have January, February

And how do you write
A Breast Cancer poem
With no references to breast
(I get embarrassed)
 That would be some kind of Oxymoron
I guess

But even if you had one breast
Or no breast
or if you had less hair than I do
I promise to look only in your eyes
And never ever even notice
Or even think about it
And never for a moment
Would I feel sorry for you
Yes I suck at lying too...

But I don't suck at loving you
Or at hoping you wake up tomorrow morning
 With no Cancer at all
And that The Eiffel Tower will be right outside
Your bedroom window...
And I would be right there with you
Holding your hand while we look down on Paris
And you can impress me with your French again

And if I ever make it
To the Pulitzer Poetry board
I might lose a thousand points
Just for this poem alone
And my hopes for the prize will be smitten
And some old person with white hair will say
That this was the worst love poem ever written

Copyright © Michael Ellis | Year Posted 2016

Details | Michael Ellis Poem

Curious George and Winnie The Pooh

I remember Christopher Robin
When helping Pooh find honey
Was my biggest problem
I remember the blustery days
We trusted each other in every way

I remember When we helped Eeyore
Find his way home from the Sea shore
Everything was good
In the Hundred Acre Woods

I remember Curious George
I had to chase him a hundred miles
As soon as my mother kissed me good night
We went around the world
But we made it home
Two minutes before sunlight
And everything was alright

And Sammy the Seal would let me get on his back
And ride for a million miles
We exchanged halcyon smiles

And I remember the monster
Who brought fear to the hundred acre woods
Scarier than the Heffalump
Scarier than the thing with the Black eyes
He was pure evil in disguise
He told lies

Filled with evil and guile
Christopher Robin called him a Pedofofile
It tried to seduce me
Ten minutes after my mother introduced me

I remember that ice cold June
When Mama said “We’re getting married soon"
And Disney left the room
I remember when
Larry Flint
And Hugh Hefner moved in
And H.A. Ray moved away
And Dr. Seuss and Syd Hoff
Took the Summer off

I remember seeing the door knob turn
The Pedofofile kneeled on one knee
Said he had a story he wanted to read to me
And he brought pornos to my bed
Mother Goose turned her head
Christopher Robin Fled
Curious George hid under the bed
And the hundred acre woods were
filled with dread

I remember us all gathering around
The meeting in Hundred acre woods
Christopher Robin said if I
Opened up the pornofo graphic
magazine
I could be banned for good

I asked him what’s a Pornofographic magazine
He didn't know exactly what to say
But saidt they were ten times worse
Than any blustery day

But i was curious like Curious George
I was curious like Curious George
I opened the Pornofographic magazine

I remember the woman
I saw more of her insides than a doctor
I remember the dog on top of her
But I can’t tell you what they did
And i cried out for Winnie the Pooh
I just wanted to be a kid

I remember the last time
I saw Christopher Robin
Tears rolled down his chin
he asked me why I had to
Let the pedofofile in
And it was a blustery day times ten

And I waved goodbye to Piglet
And Roo to Tigger
And the heffalump too
But Mostly I remember standing closely
To Danny the Dinosaur
He told me he would always love me
But I couldn’t slide down his back anymore

I remember 1974

2011 Dr. Seuss Poet M.e. Michael Ellis..

Copyright © Michael Ellis | Year Posted 2016

Details | Michael Ellis Poem

Thirty-three Letters From Batman to Robin

Playing Batman and Robin is a lot different

When the Riddler is your Stepfather

And simultaneously an alcoholic and pedophile

When your secret mission is to keep him

From bringing heroin and pornography

To Gotham city

 

Your mother wanted to save you both

But Catwoman captured her

And held her six children hostage

  
You tried to save your brother

From the Riddler that October night

But you were just nine and

The Joker had you in quicksand

The rope was too rough for such small hands

 

 Twenty years later you both get married

And you laugh at those childhood battles

Neither of  you knowing

That those villains were still there,

The Penguin was waiting in the shadows

 

Batman gets arrested for Statutory rape

They put Department of Corrections

On his fabled cape

No Batbelt to help him escape

                                                    II

Batman sends Robin thirty-three letters

Written on that yellow prison paper

With those light blue lines

Tells him  he's found Christ

Read the New Testament twice

Robin pretends to be happy for him

Even when he really doesn't believe him

And is too disappointed to care


         And returned letters from his two children

Hurt him in the worst way

When all he wanted to do was

Give them four or five dollars

For Christmas or their birthday


                                     III

   Still in every Former Super heroes life

There is a Forrest Gump/ Gomer Pyle

That just takes it all in

Regardless of his sin

Just because he's your brother

And because you love him

    Because you were the one that rode

On the handle bars of his bike

Holding the umbrella on the way to the store

While it was thundering and lightning

Not knowing that the real rain was yet to pour

   And you were the one

That sailed into the wind like Mary Poppins

when the bicycle stopped

"Make sure Mama's groceries don't drop."

   You open those letters

Because he was one that you looked up to

When there was no father to answer your call

And a twelve year old make-believe father

Was better than none at all

    Because he built you a ten feet basketball court

Out of throw away scrap wood

It wobbled when you shot the basketball

But he did the best he could

    And you were the one that used to ruin his fishing trips

By getting your hook snagged every ten minutes

And he would still ask you to ruin his next trip a week later

And he would walk in the dirty lake to un-snag your line

Because you didn’t like getting your clothes dirty or wet

   You don't tear up those those letters

Because he was the one that

Shared those stupid

What-are-we-going-to-do-now-looks

At your mother's funeral

    And you hated it when his kidneys failed

And he was only fifteen

And he couldn’t fight bad guys anymore

And you both swore never again

To wear those stupid capes

 Your heart failed when he was charged with rape

   You open those letters because

When you can't sleep or rest

Nothing like a game of Russian Roulette

Ignoring the voices in your head

The next letter is the one you’ll regret


                                                                  IV

    But hidden in those letters

Between the lines of

Those religious rants

Somewhere Between the Johns

The Deuteronomies and the Acts

Were those unknown facts

That never made it to

The courtroom

Was never read by the DA or judge

The DNA that got lost by Vice

The bloody tissue misplaced by

The evidence clerk

The real trial was in those letters


    And you learn that he wouldn't

Tell the Judge the real truth

Waived his right to a trial

Because he didn't want his kids

To end up in Foster care.

And Robin wasn't there

   And he broke his promise

To never ever play  hero again?

They gave him fourteen years

For another person's sin

   We could have put those capes on one last time

We could have beaten the Joker

And put him and the Riddler on the run

Could have shot Cat Woman with our toy guns

    After five years in prison

Batman dies at forty-one

And Robin has to go on


    And it sucks that you left

All the clues with me

And I can't even use them to set you free

The rape you confessed to

Was never what we all believed it to be

And somewhere in Gotham city

The Joker, Penguin and Riddler

Are still running around free

                                               Epilog

Goodbye Batman

Growing old with you

Would have been better

But the best of you remains

In these thirty-three letters

Copyright © Michael Ellis | Year Posted 2016

Details | Michael Ellis Poem

My White Daughter

My White Daughter


They play like sisters

Quy-Imah has braids
And is of a darker hue

Kayla has blonde hair
And eyes of Blue


In the back seat of my car they play
Martin Luther King’s dream
Just two feet away

Quy-Imah says, Hi Daddy
Kayla copies, Hi Daddy
(They both giggle)


I try to ignore their childish musings
Sisters by their own choosing

No one could could convince them
That they were any different


Then my pessimisms in my mind 

Start
to
Catalog

If they ever were to go missing

My White Daughter
Would get the FBI, Helicopters
And a hundred canines

My Black daughter
Would be lucky to get a single dog

Copyright © Michael Ellis | Year Posted 2016



Details | Michael Ellis Poem

To Gregory Pardlo, Pulitzer Prize Winner

As soon as I heard 
You were the First African American Male
To win the Pulitzer prize for Poetry
I wanted to run out and celebrate
I wanted to wake up Hughes and Dunbar
And Baraka and say we made it
No one would have been prouder than Maya
She sold ten million books
And didn’t win a Pulitzer
And you win after selling one thousand-five hundred books
Surely this is even more incredible


They finally let us in their world of literature
After a hundred years
You did good Gregory
Our fourth Black Pulitzer prize winner in all
But the first African American Male
The more I stared at your picture I thought
My he looks Cuban or Chilean
And I read that your wife is from El Salvador
And Pardlo is far from a Black name
But that doesn’t really matter
Close enough
We made it
You are Black enough for me

I was so thrilled I ran
To read all of your poems I could find
And then my champagne glass tipped
As the pages of the poems flipped


Not shocked that none of the major articles
Mentioned you being an African American
More confused that you only mentioned it
In the context that the White media
won’t correctly honor you as they did Hughes
So an NAACP image award had to do
But I know you didn’t pick the Pulitzer
It picked you. Still I am happy for you.
You mentioned your battle with alcohol
And that your family was dysfunctional
Alcohol and dysfunction 
Are metaphors for African American
So again close enough


But not even that was my greater issue
I listened to you on You Tube
And the thing that made me gasp
Is that you could never read your poetry
To An African American fifth grade class
They wouldn’t understand your syntax
And would be lost in your anapest
Never get your personification
The more I listened the more I heard
Rita Dove again
The last time Africa America has heard from her
Well I can’t say when
But I am still happy you won the Pulitzer


For the next twenty years of your life
You will feature at Harvard near a Ghetto 
At Stanford near a ghetto
In Detroit and Chicago near Ghettos
But mostly White audiences will celebrate you
Because your sponsors
Don’t want to stop their cars in BedStuy
The very neighborhood you live in
And you will impress people with your
Iambic discourse
Of course

But city blocks away
In a ghetto dreary
Where the Halogen dreams burn dim
They will hear that the man of words
Has no words for them
And growing up in suburban Wilingboro
You will never write a PREFACE
You’ll Never know RIVERS
And you will never know why 
MALINDY sings
Or why the CAGED BIRD beats its wing
But still I am so happy that you won.

And assuming being an African American
Had something to do with you winning
Please be an African American
Be like Gwen and refuse 
Sponsorship from Taco Bell and Pepsi
Be like Langston or Baraka and
Get charged for being Un American
Or be accused of being crazy like
Claude McKay
Or even like Nikki and cuss somebody out
Even if you have to do it gracefully 
And even if you do it only once

I too am honored by your NAACP image award
And I know you will fight up there for more
African Americans to be included 
in the “86% White Publishing World.”
Please Mr. Pardlo remember that we just need more
Black people down here 
Just to be included in the eating world
And in the employment world
Please use your beautiful words for us too


And so I close with these words:
In the Guardian, you asked why
Black Writers are so Invisible to White people?
Well I say, If they don’t hear your poems
Or if they don’t see you or hear you
Far beyond the posh Harvard hills
There are forty million who will


2017 A Letter To Gregory Pardlo.. (Pulitzer)
Michael Ellis...

Copyright © Michael Ellis | Year Posted 2017

Details | Michael Ellis Poem

Daddy's Little Girl

She was eighteen
Graduation Day
Valedictorian
The Girl got Straight A’s
Mother says, 'I’m proud of you.
Your hard work is gonna pay.
I know it's been a long road
But you've carried your load."
The girl looks over her shoulders
And scans through the crowd
In the back of the auditorium she sees her Father
Who is just as proud.
As the tassel falls from the air
She recalls the secret they all share.
The night he ruined her world
The night she wasn’t Daddy’s Little girl.

Ten Years Earlier]

Daddy tiptoes past the Grandfather clock
Through the kitchen
past the icebox.
There were ten steps to the room down the hall
He didn’t see himself in the mirror on the wall
Nor did he hear his conscience call.
He turned the doorknob as quietly as he could
With the door half opened there he stood
He looked at the one he promised the world
So Beautiful- So Peaceful- Daddy’s Little Girl

((The Clue))

She searched his wallet- the whole thing through
Credit card receipts—his pockets too
For a trace of the other woman
Some kind of clue
He had to leave at 3 am- Another emergency
“When I get back honey, I’ll explain the urgency.”

And sometimes you’re just a clue away
Pictures on the mantle piece show sunny days.
The wedding seemed like just yesterday.
But over the house hover the clouds of gloom
And it’s gonna rain real soon
When you learn that the other woman
Is in the other room.
Mama’s Precious Pearl
Daddy’s Little Girl

Daddy closes the door and takes a step or two
Convinced that Mama doesn’t have a clue
He considers the consequence.
What would happen if she knew?
A night lights shines in the darkness- 
The color BLUE
Father kneels on the side of her bed
And awakens the child with a kiss on her head
With one hand he strokes her hair
With the other hand he touches her - there
She tries to restrain his hand.
He says, When you’re older you’ll understand.”

She gave a fight
But he was the stronger one
And there in the night
The wicked thing was done.
She cried as quietly as she could
As tears streamed from her face
And twice that night--- she changed her pillow case
Sometimes you stand on the edge of the world
Just be strong Daddy’s Little Girl.

Morning comes and Mama knocks on the door of the shower
“Girl, You been in there two hours.”
In the hamper Mama sees blood on the sheets
Picks it up and smells the scent of her sweet.
Mama opens up the shower door—shows her the blood stains
The girls chokes on her words- Mother I just can’t explain
“Babe, tell Mother what happened to you?”
Mother’s eyes told her she already knew.
Sometimes a heartbreak doesn’t give a referral
No more Daddy’s Little Girl.
Mother sits on the sofa and looks back
At ten years of marriage
How could she abort it now?
Diagnosis: Miscarriage

The clock stops at 5:23 and Father turns the key
He opens the door "How are you my sweet?"
Seeing her reach for the bloodied sheet
“Babe, It’s just blood—This is outrageous
You know these girls they go through stages.
It could have been someone from her class
I told you the girl was just too fast.”
She is no longer your daughter and
I am no longer your wife.
Your bags are by the door
Now get the Hell out of my life.”
Barely bearing the weight of frustration:
“You can explain at the Police Station.”

Epilog

When the pain is like a hurricane
And it leaves your mind in a whirl
What you gonna do without that man?
The sun will shine again
You still have Mama’s Little Girl.

Copyright © Michael Ellis | Year Posted 2016

Details | Michael Ellis Poem

Sara

Sara tiptoes across
The kitchen floor
To get some heat
She opens the oven door

Sheets in the window
Sara calls them curtains
Mind weary, Soul hurtin'
Sara

Sara lives by the train tracks
At Sixteenth and O
Her Mama calls it a shack
But to Sara it’s quite comfortable

Flour and water
Two minute gravy
Don't rattle those pots too loudly, Sara
Might startle that Baby

Sara empty, cold and lonely
Sara with too much time to think
Sara humble, beautiful and homely
Draws water from the kitchen sink

Sara thought she married the perfect guy
But soon as he heard that baby cry-
He left a two page note:
The first page said, I love you
The second page said, Goodbye
For a whole month he tried

Sara's mother told her
That he was just too young
But Sara didn't listen
He promised Sara he'd be the one
She'd always been missin'

Two pinches of cornstarch
From the box on the shelf
Sara says, Hell,
He was just a baby himself

Nine months
Sara bore the burden
Feet tired, head hurtin'
So many times she wasn't certain


Sara pours vinegar on lettuce
Just enough to call it salad
Memories of him grow stronger
Sara tries not to think about it

One child- A year later a divorce
And the White knight
Who was supposed to save the day
Must have fallen from his horse
Or maybe he lost his way

Men of means offer her money
And pose a promise or two
Sara laughs as if it’s funny
Saying, You're just like sugar
Tryna call itself honey
You're just too sweet to be true

Sara opens the refrigerator door
Takes out the potatoes
From the night before
Then Sara just thinks some more:

"We can let June keep the Baby.
Or we can put it up for adoption."
But Sara knew that wasn't an option
Sara recalled the anger in his voice:
"Babe, please don't force me to make a choice."

Sara cried as she watched him go
His pain he was too proud to show
He said, Sara, please don't cry
Then he said, Goodbye

The only love she had ever known-
Now Sara and the Baby were alone
In his Blue travel sack
Everything in the world
That he ever owned

But sweet Sara understood
The baby that he feared
Probably all in this world
That he had ever done of good

From the balcony Sara watched
As he walked down the railroad tracks
She knew that once he crossed L Street
He would never ever turn back

Sara watched him
As far as her eyes could go
Then he disappeared at Thirteenth and O
Sara just closed her window

And Sara went inside
And Sara cried

Copyright © Michael Ellis | Year Posted 2016

Details | Michael Ellis Poem

Miracle on 44th Street

Lyrical On 44th Street
 

The argument started at the table
 
He was too soft,
 too timid to quote Gable
 
She said ,"Your dreams aren't keeping the lights on.
 
If I see you writing again, your son and I will be gone."
 
 
 
 
He said, "I been writing this book for ten years.
 
 I  got a letter from the mayor. I won a certificate."
 
She said, "It's just paper. We can't eat it. It aint worth shit!
 
   For six years you haven't been a father at all.
 
You got a son who can't even catch a damn ball.
 
You're worth a nickel as a husband.
 
As a father, not even a dime.
 
Where's a boy going in this world
 
Writing stories and rhymes?"
 
   She tossed his unfinished poems on the kitchen floor
 
His bound manuscripts out the back door.
 
She said, "Horace, I'm warning you.
 
Get this work out the trash
 
You'll find a wedding ring in there too."
 
   For three days those dreams festered in that trash
 
Covered with Pasta, cooking oil, Marinara sauce
 
Everything he had ever written was lost.
 
   
 He watched the Sunny Hills Sanitation Company
 
Turn down 34th street and make a left at the corner.
 
One last time he tried to warn her.
 
He could barely hide his tears with his hands.
 
She said, "Now you can grow up and be a man."
 
  Then that truck turned left on 35th street
 
Then it turned right
 
And just like those dreams, it disappeared from sight
 
   
     Twenty years later
 
He sat in the Sunny Hills Convalescent home
 
Sick, lonely, old and alone
 
He couldn't even hold a pen
 
Or dial numbers on a phone
 
    He had forgotten nearly every simile
 
Every rhyme and every metaphor.
 
And every few weeks the Reaper
 
Carried one of his friends out that door.
 
   And though he couldn't remember
 
 His favorite color or baseball team
 
The one thing he couldn't forget
 
Were those lyrical dreams.
 
  
In the dining room of the hospital he had a guest.
 
It took two nurses to get the feeble man dressed.
 
A nurse said, Mr. Horace, this is your son.
 
Twice he had to be reminded that he had one.
 
He tried to reply, but his words failed.
 
  The young man said, "Dad, I have a writing degree.
 
I graduated with honors, from Yale.
 
 
 
But what the old man didn't know
 
Happened late in the night
 
Twenty years ago.
 
A young child
 
Went into that garbage can
 
Sorted through the pasta, salad, and uneaten bones.
 
And made those lyrical dreams his own.
 
And now those dreams live on.
 
                                                     -Michael Ellis

Copyright © Michael Ellis | Year Posted 2016

Details | Michael Ellis Poem

Miles Davis and God, Kind of Blue

Kind Of Blue (For Miles Davis)

Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx Ny 1991


Before they could lower Miles 
into the damp, dark ground
Two of the PALL BEARERS
Thought they heard musical sounds

Before the Preacher could say
Turn your BiblesTo Acts, 
The preacher paused.

After he read Deuteronomy
He looked back

But there was nothing there

But deep under the sepulchers
Six feet below the sand
The Spirits realized it was jus’ 
ColTrane and Gillespie
Warmin’ up the band


And a hundred corpses started
Creeping' out those coffins
Sayin', We don’t get parties round here often

And those Trom Bones started rattling
Those Trom Bones rattled
Like they were audition for Ezekial
Like they were auditioning for Ezekiel
And MILES was ready for his musical sequel

And MILES said
Is everyone here dead??
And they said, Do we look Dead?
And started snapping their fingers
And bobbling their heads


And they started to sing 
and shimmy and sway 
In A Silent Way

And Miles asked the Dead Man with the horn
Where am I?
How long do we get to play?
He said, We ain't got long, Son
The Shovels are on the way
The shovels are always on the way

And Miles crawled  out of that casket
To a vertical stand
And Tommy put a horn in his hand


Miles stood on the tallest tombstome
And he played like a Boogey Man
He played like a Boogey Man
And then Mingus appeared, saying
 Miles??   Can I give you a hand?

And Miles put his wrinkled Black lips on that horn
And sucked it like it like it was a breast
And he felt like  he was a Newborn
And he pulled music deep in his chest

And he played like there was no tomorrow
Because there wasn’t one
He hesitated
And they said, It’s alright Son

And he played Vibrato 
And he played G sharp
And he played sweeter
Then Caesars harp

Then Miles looked sad eyed
And thought back to 1945
Shooting heroin with Bird
recalling those sad words:
“Hey Miles”
“Yeah Bird”

This  shit is kind enough to kill you
And show up at your funeral too.”
And Miles said, 
Yeah it’s Bitches Brew
It’s a Bitches Brew

He laughed, Crazy of  Ol’ Coleman
To tell me to stay away from you

And that heroin went down
Their veins
Like a Macy’s  escalator
Then they went back up to their brains
like an elevator

And Bird was dead ten years later

And Miles went back even further in his mind
1944, East Saint Louis, when he met Billy Eckstine
He pressed Play, fast forward and rewind
Then he thought about Webster and Navarro
And he was filled with sorrow


Miles cried as he cleared his throat
But He saved
The Sweetest note
for alton, Illinois
Where he played as a boy
And was his mother’s joy:

“I think God himself made the piano
Now the Devil made the trumpet
A day later tryna show God off…"
She faded with words real soft


That thought was interrupted
Miles, We gotta hurry
The comin’ with the shovels
They told Miles not to worry

And those Spirits knew the party
Was coming to an end
And Miles played one last note
To the sun, to the wind

HE PLAYED THOSE

I-Aint-Done-Gettin-Down-Blues

Those What  If-heaven-
Doesn’t-have-a-fifty-second-street
Just-give-me-one-more-minute-Blues

And then he brought  to an end
 That syncopated tune

Someone whispered, We know
"It always ends too soon.
It always ends too soon."


And the music stopped playin
And they confiscated those horns
Like a New York pawn shop
And that party came to a stop

And every ghost went back to his tomb
ANd Mingus said, Goodbye Miles
It’s a long way to Bangledesh.
You stay out of trouble  
And then they saw  the shovels

The very next morning
The Undertaker
saw a Brass pipe on the ground
Where it came from he didn’t have a clue
But the Corpses  knew

But if he had looked up, 
Miles and MILES up into the sky
He would have noticed
The more Ominous clue
The Sky wasn’t white
Or Opaque or even Grey

It was was Kind of  Blue

Copyright © Michael Ellis | Year Posted 2017

12