Cedar Walton/Meri Culp



Cedar Walton’s Blue Notes: Blue Monk, Turquoise Twice, & Blue Train


Blue Monk (morning)


Blue rush daybreak, night shutters flung wide,

the sun catching fire in song, how easy cool the cockcrow of morning


finds heat, the city sidewalk below hopscotched

in jump back beats, this improv game


of street rock bounce, in the lines, in the lines, spark riffed

around the corner and back again, these numbered squares


still holding their own, the backdoor key slide home

tuned to memory, skipping in sapphire, in light.



Turquoise Twice (evening)


Quarter-toned dusk bending into the blues,

into the progression, the simple chord change of night


finding a staircase, edged in half-light, each step a key, black, then white,

the room above, a window left open, curtains drawn,


a half-note moon just beyond the pane, a touch of sound

entering skin close, doubling back in rounded lines


of spine talk, an arc of hands springing open,

gathering in street bouquets, fingering deep petals, falling.



Blue Train (midnight)


Wheels to wood, the blue train splits the night,

has no care for a smooth run to day,


but instead  lays down the gravel tracks to the next bend,

hooks up the hit or miss of boxcars, the stop and go


of small town crossroads, of a sputtering yellow house light,

a blur of home, of loneliness layered so deep, so much of leaving, leaving


that the brass horn moon ahead, drops  in and out of the black tree line,

picking up where the train left off, edging on the morning side of midnight.


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