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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Happy Natal Day, Billie

Miss Billie Holiday aka
Eleanora Fagan would be
95 years old today.

Wow! Billie, "Lady Day" who
Changed the tone and sway
Of Jazz and made it her
Own. Billie, who
Colored it Blue,
And sadder than the hang of
Strange Fruit as
She sang it soul-
Deep and authentic, too.

I wonder if she were still
Here, still breathing air, fresh
Gardenia in her hair...
Would she still be
Singing dem old
Weary blues?

Would she be lost
Somewhere between
Applause... and
Those small-minded cities,
A broken heart...
And the tears
Trapped in her
Wounded croon?

Would she still be
Changin the scope
And the mood
Of a slow and smoke-filled
Jazzing room?

Or would she be
This thrillingly new and
Smiling diva
Relinquished of
Her old demons, at last?

Would she
Had married her best friend,
Prez, settled into the burbs,
And raised a slew of
Black jazz babies?

Would she have said:
'Later for fame!' and
Grew truer to the game,
Became totally Her Self, and

Ahhhhh... Ms. Billie!
What a beautiful sight
And what a glorious sound
That Jazz song

Happy Born-day to you,
Our Sweet
Lady Day!

One Love.


copyright © 2010 by L.M. Ross


Teri and the cats of Furrydance said...

I listened to a nice tribute about Billie on NPR on the way to work...she was in my thoughts today, and your poem is very evocative. Thanks!

Kyon Saucier said...

As usual beau another great poem. Billie Holdiay was a true genius but unfortunately a very tortured soul. You put her in my thought today as well and your poem I beleive captured all of those what ifs. Parfait!

Orrin said...

Well now dad...this is an utterly beautiful poem...Now i've been trying to get in touch with you for some time now but could not. Surely you remember Capa Don your literary child???? Its been a while pops...but yo you were on my mind heavy when I picked up Manhood and begin to read it again...reacquainting myself with you and your vibe...I missed you desperately. Please get at me via email: and let me know how I can get and KEEP in touch with you sir! Miss you righteously man!

~Capa Don

Lyrically speaking said...

I truly enjoyed this post, she was indeed a classy lady, your blog is wonderful