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this poem was written for cuyahoga county poet laureate daniel thompson, who merged into cosmic consciousness may 6, 2004.

a requiem for daniel thompson

you, white bearded saint of
the sad cleveland streets,
with yr twinkling eye
& fireworks of the mind,
chanting yr heavy words
over the beast of the city,

o prophet of many hats, the
music of yr soul like a fine
mercury swirl, awash upon
lost neighborhoods, a beacon
of hope in a twist of whispers,
down where the cuyahoga flows

gentle giant of junkyard poems,
in a pearl road salvage joint
where the word resurrected
the rust of axles, silent engines
motoring our forgotten names,
w/a top hat standing on a flatbed,

legendary ghost of the west side
market, weaving in and out of
vegetable stands, sausages
hanging like uncooked poems
from the rafters, all yr clean
fresh bread of the moment,

king of the coventry hours,
telling tales at a table at
tommy's, rattling the bones
of the ages, the civil rights
wars of the 1960s, you the
mask of hughes, crane, levy,

with yr diamond sharp scythe
of images, poems that erase
every ancient moment, suspended
in time like a golden elixir,
dueling with drumplay, how
you would laugh at my words,

on a sunny cleveland afternoon
where the birds speak of spring,
the dogs sing symphonies, today
is a holy day, a timeless may 6th,
(can't believe yr gone) I offer this
requiem for you, daniel thompson


-- markk

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