The Piano Sits Quiet:Ode to Fats Domino

When I heard Fats died, it seemed as if part of New Orleans died with him. He was one of the last great living men of the rhythm and blues. A musician that defined the New Orleans sound. His tunes flavored Mardi Gras like filet in Gumbo. Musical notes where his soul and his heart beat with the bangs of piano keys. Many parties will occur in his honor. A second line will creep thru his beloved lower nine. Colorful umbrellas will fill the atmosphere and rags will wave. Even Katrina couldn’t extinguish our beloved Fats Domino. However, he won’t really be deceased. His music will continue to stroll the city blocks of my beloved hometown. I wrote a poem about the Blues years ago. It’s below as a dedication to a great man that sung with power about life and love. Rest in peace and saunter over to the heavenly piano that’s waiting.


The Blues


In the dark dusty confines of a blues club

Sits a man in a faded fedora and a pin stripped suit

An acoustic guitar sits on his lap

As he strums a tune

The old fingers lay on the strings like a lover

Sound waves carry oceans of memory

His pain is my pain

As my heart is slain

By his remembrances of heartbreak


Bu dub bu dub

I hear your pain

Bu dub bu dub

But lord how much you have gained


Each day of breath adds to his quilt of life

Made of patches and strings

Things that he has seen

And done

His verses are like films in the mind’s universe

These lines make you search

Your own soul and examine the toils

Of the burdens you have taken

Makes you remember how many times

You were mistaken love for lust

And lies for trust


Bu dub bu dub

I hear your pain

Bu dub bu dub

But lord how much you have gained


The blues speaks in tones of pain and loss

Slave master’s whips on backs

Echo in each hard strum of the guitar

It sinks into my soul and lives there

Sits in my bones and echoes

The songs of the great blues magicians

Howling Wolf and Muddy Waters

Wolf  lies on the “Killing Floor”

With his pain

Muddy is not a boy but a “Mannish Boy”

Announcing he is not a boy in a man’s body

But just a man


Bu dub bu dub

I hear your pain

Bu dub bu dub

But lord how much you have gained


Our history lays in each verse

As terse as a stretched rope

The songs bring hope into lives that have none

It holds the genes of African people

It reverberates across time

The blues is a book laid on the shelf of humanity

It beckons people to find it and open it

And read the scribbles of men

That still sit in the smoky bowels

Of a blues club and

Spits their pain and triumphs

Into history