James Brown

I cannot say I learned to dance,
although at times I was inspired;
and with each wrong note, took a chance
that in his band, I might get fired.

Precision: like a jeweler’s saw
he cut through space and time
with life in rhythm, bold and raw.
In one small couplet’s rhyme

he could encapsulate a mood,
a generation’s groove;
and for the soul, he gave us food,
and brand new attitude.

An icon, teacher, yet a man
whose troubles, too, were large;
Yet It seemed, standing at the mic,
he was alone in charge.

An acrobat, a poet, too,
a dynamo of sound,
who could with one hand get us up,
and help us to get down.

One of the first ones with the dream,
a mighty architect;
whose building not just brought us hope,
but helped us stand erect.

So many rise and fall today
in shadows that he cast:
The cape now hanging in the wings
has left the stage, at last.

25 DEC 2006

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