(A Tribute To Tom Rush And Crazier, more Hope Filled Days / Daze)
( This Is To Tom Rush /
But That’s Not A Title )
I’ve seen you reaching
to understand the feelings
of everyone around you,
like you thoughts yours didn’t matter,
you remind me
of the things I like best in people
People; we’ve known our share
(pass the wine friend)
we know that our heaviest burden
is that we care
too much for things
that never give us a second thought,
we’re soldiers in a war
to bring love to our friends
who fear it the most
have to admit it though,
we sure know how to live,
if livin is losin,
if livin is losin your soul
twenty times a day
(tied off with a crumpled bow
and tossed) at the feet of the living
whose dreams are bound to die
before their time
they’ll be back, Tom, the people
when their losing
brings them to the questions
we gave them answers for
when they were too young to ask,
when their breasts were new
and full of energy,
full of idealism
that told them
the world was theirs
they’ll drag their heals
and feel their tears
and wonder about dying,
the way we did,
before we saw them ready to fall
before we were ready
to fight all manner of gods
for their happieness,
to strain every muscle
in our hearts
to keep them from crying
pass the wine, Tom,
the waiting is on us,
empty as a corpse.
Jim Wellington (1971)
(( I came home from work one morning, to an empty house. All my “hippy friends” and house mates had gotten up early to zoom off to New Haven to the farmers’ market.
I’d had a rough couple days, with a new friend named Richie, whose parents had kicked him out of their house- he’d scored some really bad acid and spent a couple hours puking his brains out in our reassuring bathroom.
-And a fifteen year old girl had wondered into the house, wide eyed and helpless, looking like somebody’s perfect daughter, flawless skin, beautiful eyes, thin young body wearing bell bottoms and soft suede shoes, a tight tee shirt of brown textured material with a wide cut between her hinted at breasts- the tee shirt held closed by criss crossed shoe laced leather. Long straight dark hair, innocent brown eyes. She was just barely hanging on to her sanity after some idiot had given her a first taste of Lysergic Acid Diethalimide .25 and she was calmly trying not to explode into millions of fragments that might never come back together right. I managed to let he know we believed she mattered, she was a wonderful human being with better than infinite potential. She wanted to hold my hands and look into my eyes and absorb that truth and feel really good about herself and the universe that was coming together to save her from her parents’ particular form of insanity. But that inrush of truth and beauty and hope and love threatened to explode her again. I think, somehow, I said something that had her laughing with joy and launched her bad trip into a much better field of exploration.
And I had to go to work in the midst of all this, leave Annie surrounded by friends I trusted to stand back and stand guard to make sure she was safe and happy and learning as much positive information as possible without exploding all over the place… (a poster of Jimi Hendrix turned and looked at her and said, “What are you doing? … What did I do?…” ) And Richie from Long Island finished puking his brains out and sat around for a while staring at a very frightening panorama of monstrous faces forming the air around him and later asked for a ride to the emergency room, and he survived- ((( a couple days later he was playing his guitar and teaching me licks from Pink Floyd and Jefferson Airplane… )))
-But I was freakin drained, dealing with long haul truck drivers who told me my beard looked like their girl friend’s private parts, and the clerk work at the trucking company office kept coming and never gave me a chance to sit down and catch my breath.
-So I came home to our hippy beach house and put on my newish copy of Tom Rush- the album that starts with Driving Wheel. And I cranked it a little louder than I would if anybody was sleeping upstairs or on the couch or passed out half hugging the washing machine… life was that kind of an adventure….
And I fried myself a couple brown eggs and got the toaster to work and found enough coffee left in the pot to bring it all together into one of the better breakfasts I’d tried to cook myself…
And I sat down in the living room (in the mix-matched furniture that only looked right in a rented beach house)
And the music filled the universe with magic- every note relaxed and soothed another part of me that I hadn’t realized was on fire. And Tom’s voice was the soul of compassion and I could see the old man with white hair sitting on a park bench, looking through fading eyes at a world worth loving, and I wanted to get up and dance to stuff my momma would have warned me I better not dance to, all night long. and I wanted to drop my guard and feel the pain of crazy people who had a lot more to offer than I’d ever realized.
Star Children from the other side of the universe were coming to earth and infiltrating our wild and crazy hippy get togethers and donating secret bits of love and wisdom and compassion and hope. And they were using unassuming genius folk singers to help them spread their message.
I had to sit down and write the above poem, straining to feel and find the words that fit together just right
I typed up two copies and gave one to Annie (the fifteen year old hope of my lost tribe’s wildest uncontrollable generation) She kept a crumpled up copy with her and read it read many times after being used and abused by flower children and people who hated flower children. She went to a Tom Rush concert because of that poem and loved every second of it.
And I thought I lost my last copy of that typewritten poem but found it yesterday in a stinkin mildew and mold ridden mess in a storage unit a family member had filled with stuff that my brother in law had not burned when he set his house and fire and blew his brains out, never getting over the loss of my sister to cancer….
And the original is inside a plastic page protector and this copy will be saved on five or six hard drives and on the web in at least three sites.
Yeah, life is still worth living. Even if the only wine I want is the spiritual kind that warms you to the core of our universal soul and spirit.
—–Jim, July 12, 2014 (Full moon tonight) ))