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DELAWARE POETRY REVIEW
Sunil Freeman
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ACCORDION
Chords and oompah fade to a lone note
that quivers and holds, then rises, the sound
like smoke that lifts and curls its blue gray line
to the air.  There is a cafe, and I am drifting
in the France of my mind.  Let the photos come
alive, the lens zoom slowly into the frame
so still life becomes cinema.
We're in color
now, the accordion jaunty once more, rolling
like the distant hills, like birdsong trills that silver
this summer afternoon.  There's a vineyard
in the foreground drenched in sun, and here
at hand our laughter, a burble of Chardonnay
as we empty the last of the bottle.
 
Perhaps nearby they are debating
Godard's old fights with Truffaut, and yes,
somewhere in the village Grappelli spins
arabesques while Django strums and waits.
CD, LP, who knows?  We are but children
grown older, languid as grapes, tethered
to the day till the lens pulls back, chords
drop off and rhythm narrows to a foot trail
that winds back to the cafe, the accordion
a whisper, a sigh, and gone.

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WALKING
Sligo Creek Park, 1970
(for Ornette Coleman)

Across the street and through a field the path
curves up to woods that summers past became
Free Jazz, a sound that wailed and wobbled, still    
transformed somehow to grace, with Dolphy's horn
a birdcall honk, and distant trumpet chirps.
 
A green so deep it might be under sea,
and stillness even in a breeze, the soft
undersides of leaves, ferns, skunk cabbage,
a stink like earth's own blues.  A bird would sing
and then another, while basses lumbered 
pizzicato and thumped against the sax
whose keening lines called back that floating pulse
and drums just danced around the beat or tapped
a golden wash above to crown it all. 

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SIX SYLLABLES, IAMBIC
c. 1962

"The ship shall sail at dawn."  The dream long gone,
those words remain, a riddle left that calls
me back through years to know the boy who on
that night had shouted out the news for all
 
to hear.  A ship would sail; but was the child
to stand onshore and wave goodbye to those
he loved, or board and ride the sea to wild
adventures, distant moonrise, hidden coves.
 
I knew the boy but not the dream.  The words
I called now pull me back like emeralds,
a glow that reached from darkest night, a heard
refrain:  the ship, the dawn, a flock of gulls
 
perhaps?  Now I come back to touch that night
and praise the force that calls those words to light.
 

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About the Poet
Sunil Freeman is author of two books of poems, That Would Explain the Violinist (Gut Punch Press, 1993), and Surreal Freedom Blues (Argonne Hotel Press, 1999).  He is the Washington, DC Branch Bureau editor of the Party for Socialism and Liberation's website, www.pslweb.org. His poems have appeared in several journals and anthologies, among them Minimus, Bogg, Gargoyle, Abbey, WordWrights!, Kiss The Sky: Fiction and Poetry Starring Jimi Hendrix, and Cabin Fever: Poets at Joaquin Miller's Cabin, 1984-2001.
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