Friday 5 May 2023

2 Poems by Buff Whitman-Bradley

All will be well

I wake every night
For an hour or so
Go to the living room with a book
Or a crossword puzzle
Stay up long enough
For the pains in my leg
To subside
Then head back to bed.
It can be lonely
In the solitary stillness of 2 A.M.
And sometimes,
To keep me company,
My froggy old brain
Begins to fuss and fret
About matters both significant
And trivial.
But when I hear the owls
Calling to each other
From the large oaks
Down the street
Even though I know
They are not talking to me
I feel soothed and comforted
As I did when I was a child
Lying curled up and barely awake
In the back of the car
While my parents chatted quietly
In the front seat
And I listened not to their words
But to the sounds of their voices,
A soft blanket of talk
Wrapped around a little boy
As he drifted off to sleep,
Assuring him that all will be well
And all will be well.


I have long assumed
That the Midnight Bus
Will drop me off
At the doorstep of eternal silence.
But lately it has occurred to me,
As my hour of ultimate departure
Comes ever closer,
That perhaps my debarkation location
Will be smack-dab in the midst
Of the joyful noise emanating from
The Hullabalo Jazzbo Perpetual Marching Band
Exuberantly belting out
Tune after classic tune
As they prance along celestial boulevards
From one galaxy to another,
Full of brassy joie de vivre.
They will invite me to join in
And even though right here and right now
I cannot play a note,
When recruited into that euphonious throng
I will immediately get my groove on
Blowing one sublime, throw-it-all-down riff
After another
As I high-step to In the Mood
And Muskrat Ramble.
The neighbors will come dancing and cheering
Out of their houses
Kids will zig and zag
Up and down the line
On their bikes and boards and skates
As they sing along in every conceivable key
While the Cosmic Gelato crew
Dishes out free goodies to all,
And I will exclaim
To the trumpeter strutting beside me,
Oh man,
This is heaven!


Buff Whitman-Bradley’s poems have appeared and many print and online journals. His most recent books are At the Driveway Guitar Sale: Poems on Aging, Memory, Mortality (Main Street Rag Publishers), The Heron Could Be Lost (Finishing Line Press), and And What Will We Sing? (Kelsay Books). He podcasts at and lives with his wife, Cynthia, in northern California.

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