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FOR THE YEAR THAT WAS

Published today in Jerry Jazz Musician (Online, Portland Oregon)  in response to a quick call for a piece of music and some words about how it helped get us through 2020.

THERE IS TOO MUCH DEATH
A new poem by Victor Enns

Time does not care whether it’s Covid-19
Or covert militias that kill, funerals
Now just a memory, hoping to see
Your grandmother through the glass
Before she breathes her last. Families
Are repulsed by the line-up of refrigerator
Trucks for racking the dead, the living left
With no place to take their viral remains
The cemeteries full to bursting,
Not deep enough to take all this mortality
And no hell hot enough for the unmasked
Needing beds to die in all the same.
Health care workers pay no mind
Whether you walk on the sunny or the dark
Side of the street with the shady National police
In rental vans for the still breathing
As if it was possible to take away reality
Captured on every phone rolling digital
Video, death Is no secret. We can see it all in slo-mo
All those guns, all those aerosols, all those bodies.

At home I do not pray, I live in another country
Afraid of all the violence; there is too much death
So close to where I live. I shelter in my apartment listen
Here to  jazz hymns, like Haden, like Peterson,
here Webb’s arrangement takes pain,
washing it in the water,  brings solace
To the river, the one we all will cross.

TOO MUCH DEATH a new poem by Victor Enns, read here by Victor Enns. I get comfortable half way through. Lots to learn lots to fix, but here it is for today. My poem for 2020.  So this is Take one.

………

My song for 2020 is “Washed by the Water” by Peter Gabriel, played by the Jodi Proznik Quartet.  The hymn-like arrangement by Tilden Webb is a tribute to Oscar Peterson and will soothe your soul. The track can be found on Foundations featuring Jodi Proznick on bass, Tilden Webb on piano, Jesse Cahill on drums and Steve Kaldestad on tenor saxophone.  

[The Jodi Proznick Quartet released their debut CD “Foundations” on Cellar Live on 2006 to critical acclaim. It was nominated for a Juno award and was awarded both Album and Acoustic Group of the Year at the National Jazz Awards in 2007. The repertoire is a mix of original compositions as well as arrangements of songs by Duke Ellington, Oscar Pettiford, Joni Mitchell and Peter Gabriel.]

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