A Cool Jade Wind Will Blow
“I always sang, from the time I could make a noise. And I always wrote. I wrote little poems and at about 8 or 9, I started writing little songs.” 1970
Laura Nyro, 1947- 1997. Surprisingly, this is the first I've heard of this song writer/recording artist, although I am familiar with some of the songs she wrote. After an afternoon learning more about her I wrote two responses to the prompt. I incorporated lines from her songs, which are italicized. Some poetic license was taken; don't take my words as biographical.
my days are numbered
as my mother’s were.
Mourn for me, yes,
miss me when I’m gone.
scatter me beneath
where I saw leafy green springs
and red autumns.
For the trees have eyes,
to see the stars.
A Cool Jade Wind Will Blow
Searching for a miracle,
pearl in an oyster.
I’m so tired.
But the oyster’s just an oyster
and there ain’t no miracles.
I’m not scared of dyin’.
There’ll be music…
my lovely song.
Mama, cradle me again.
We go together
Through the changing seasons
🍁 🍁 🍁 🍁 🍁 🍁 🍁 🍁 🍁 🍁 🍁 🍁
One thing that is staying with me is the tragedy of her death. Perhaps an avoidable tragedy, in that ovarian cancer, as with breast cancer, is hereditary. A family history of either may be a good reason to think long and hard (although not too long) and talk to a doctor about preventative surgery. It's why Angelina Jolie had a mastectomy and removal of her ovaries and Fallopian tubes. She watched her mother die painfully from breast cancer, which also killed her grandmother and an aunt. Laura Nyro's only child, a son, was only 19 when his mother died.
©2020 Lisa Smith Nelson. All Rights Reserved
Oh Lisa this is wonderful, amazing, and moving! I love that you added all that you learned about Laura including the tragedy in her life. Your poems are true to her and gorgeous. It is always a pleasure to read your poetry!ReplyDelete
Thank you. I was moved by her story, and just reading the words she used for her songs, which were poetry, made me so sad to know she was gone too young. She was born the same year as one of my brothers, the younger of my two older brothers, so her young age really hit me.Delete
Ah, you went to one of the same songs as I did! I'm so happy to be able to introduce Laura's own music to someone else. She was absolutely amazing.ReplyDelete
I'm glad you did! It's strange I never knew of her by name before, I read she was linked romantically with Jackson Browne, and he was nearly ALL I used to listen to!Delete
Both poems are beautiful. I appreciate your notes too.ReplyDelete
Thank you. Of course, many of the words aren't mine, I just pulled them out of her songs. I guess the second one is pretty much a "found" poem then.Delete
What a beautiful tribute, and your use of her words created such a poignant "found" poem. BravoReplyDelete
Thank you. She wrote some lyrics that just went so well together. After reading her story, and how she and her mother died from the same cause, "Mama, cradle me again" really got to me.Delete
I think it's the knowing, that is most painful. Beautifully crafted poetry and ode to an amazing artist.ReplyDelete
I agree. When I think of the unfairness of children with cancer, I think it's good they are too little to understand. It's unfair to anyone, but children never get a chance, and teens are old enough to have dreams. Thank you for your comments.Delete
Exquisite poetry ... in researching the lovely laura I discovered much about her and am glad you included the notes! Happy Holidays to you and yours.ReplyDelete
Thank you. Happy Holidays to you and yours as well.Delete
"Hearts afire" - great.ReplyDelete
Those three lines at the end are from her "A Wilderness."Delete
Beautiful poems, and thank you for the notes. My mother had Alzheimer's and try not to imagine my sisters or I suffering its devastation.ReplyDelete
Thank you. I do hope you and your sisters are spared. I have no experience with anyone with Alzheimer's, but hear how difficult it is for loved ones.Delete
Nice write, Lisa, older folk do get tired. We just lost Mrs. Jim's 100 year old cousin by marriage to her husband, a cousin. She was tired also, but loved it that we had come to visit her. The next week she went on Hospice, we had her funereal last week.ReplyDelete
Thank you. I think a lot of young people get tired too. Dragged down by situations, it can be so tiring and depressing for everyone. Sorry to hear about your cousin. 100 is certainly a nice long life. It sounds as though she had her wits about her still, which is great!Delete
Strong piece. Magical! Well written. I am listening to Laura’s album “Angel In The Dark” as I write this. Damn she was so good. Left us way too soon, but she definitely left our hearts afire!ReplyDelete
Thank you. To think I didn't know of her before this prompt!Delete