The Great Dead Salute You

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The Great Dead Salute You

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Dylan Thomas salutes you

For stealing his first name.

Alan Lomax salutes you.

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And from his scratchy tapes

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Leadbelly salutes you for championing

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The dispossessed and imprisoned,

And if only the devil would let him

Robert Johnson salutes you

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For the wild ride you have had to take.

 

Woody Guthrie salutes you

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For honoring whose land this is,

And Joan Baez salutes you

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For being such a faker,

And Richard Fariña still competes

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In heaven for the better line,

While Johnny Cash salutes you

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For that gravely voice.

Frank O’Hara salutes you

From beneath wheels of a dune-buggy

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For keeping a surreal sense of humor,

And Allen Ginsberg salutes you

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From his ashram in heaven

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For first thought, best thought,

And from beyond antiquity

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Homeric bards salute you

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For restoring poetic narrative

To the hearth of a community.

Never before has a troubadour

Been given such high honors

So well deserved, you can tell,

Because of the number of literary

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Figures complaining about it.

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“From Orpheus to Faiz, song & poetry have been closely linked,” said Salman Rushdie, the Indian-born novelist also thought to have been a candidate for the prize. “Dylan is the brilliant inheritor of the bardic tradition,” Mr. Rushdie added. “Great choice.”

[Disposable Poem October 13, 2016]

Dr. Mike

Chimes Of Freedom

Written by: Bob Dylan

Far between sundown’s finish an’ midnight’s broken toll
We ducked inside the doorway, thunder crashing
As majestic bells of bolts struck shadows in the sounds
Seeming to be the chimes of freedom flashing
Flashing for the warriors whose strength is not to fight
Flashing for the refugees on the unarmed road of flight
An’ for each an’ ev’ry underdog soldier in the night
An’ we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing

In the city’s melted furnace, unexpectedly we watched
With faces hidden while the walls were tightening
As the echo of the wedding bells before the blowin’ rain
Dissolved into the bells of the lightning
Tolling for the rebel, tolling for the rake
Tolling for the luckless, the abandoned an’ forsaked
Tolling for the outcast, burnin’ constantly at stake
An’ we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing

Through the mad mystic hammering of the wild ripping hail
The sky cracked its poems in naked wonder
That the clinging of the church bells blew far into the breeze
Leaving only bells of lightning and its thunder
Striking for the gentle, striking for the kind
Striking for the guardians and protectors of the mind
An’ the unpawned painter behind beyond his rightful time
An’ we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing

Through the wild cathedral evening the rain unraveled tales
For the disrobed faceless forms of no position
Tolling for the tongues with no place to bring their thoughts
All down in taken-for-granted situations
Tolling for the deaf an’ blind, tolling for the mute
Tolling for the mistreated, mateless mother, the mistitled prostitute
For the misdemeanor outlaw, chased an’ cheated by pursuit
An’ we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing

Even though a cloud’s white curtain in a far-off corner flashed
An’ the hypnotic splattered mist was slowly lifting
Electric light still struck like arrows, fired but for the ones
Condemned to drift or else be kept from drifting
Tolling for the searching ones, on their speechless, seeking trail
For the lonesome-hearted lovers with too personal a tale
An’ for each unharmful, gentle soul misplaced inside a jail
An’ we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing

Starry-eyed an’ laughing as I recall when we were caught
Trapped by no track of hours for they hanged suspended
As we listened one last time an’ we watched with one last look
Spellbound an’ swallowed ’til the tolling ended
Tolling for the aching ones whose wounds cannot be nursed
For the countless confused, accused, misused, strung-out ones an’ worse
An’ for every hung-up person in the whole wide universe
An’ we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing

 

 

 

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