POEM: Old man in a bar

I wandered into a bar and heard an old man singing.

He was an old man disguised as a young man,

playing blues riffs on a guitar and hollering along.

 

I wandered into a bar and heard an old man singing.

I knew by his eyes that we had met in a previous life,

perhaps more than one life. His eyes were wells,

sunlight and green leaves floating on water so deep

there was only darkness at the bottom.

 

I wandered up to the bar and ordered something to drink.

I don’t know what I asked for but what I got

was the mead of inspiration, water of life, nectar of the gods,

light playing on the surface as it did in the singer’s eyes,

smelling like peat moss and well water and memory,

and the singer came up next to me and ordered the same.

 

The singer came up next to me and ordered the same thing

I was drinking. He lifted his glass in salute and I saw

his young face, his curling hair, his beard-bordered mouth.

The face of the youth who is ancient in heart though

eternally young, the first voice that sang the first song

with a human voice, but also the voice of a god,

the Muse, the Apollo, the genius within every human spirit.

 

I drank with the old man disguised as a young man

who played the guitar in a bar and hollered the blues

on a rainy spring night and came home with this poem,

a leaf floating in a glass of whiskey as deep as a well.

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