Saturday, June 6, 2009

Sunday Sabbath Poetry: Linford Detweiler

Over the Rhine is a two-person, husband-and-wife band that has had a surprisingly prodigious output over the last twenty years. Their songs are gentle and soulful, often suffused with Christian themes, and both (Karin Bergquist on vocals/guitar and Linford Detwiler on everything else) share the lyrics load.

The song below is a gorgeous slowburn ballad in an eschatological key. Of the many songs whose lyrics I post for Sunday Sabbath poems, this one comes with the highest recommendation. It's hard to hear the beauty of the words without the music carrying them along.

My own stays with the theme -- which seems to be a broader theme of late around these parts -- and came upon me, like so much of what I write, in an instant while at work this week. The most ordinary things (especially smells) bring my time in Africa or Russia back to me, and this was a happily potent double-take on a memory.

[Update: I have taken down poems I am in the process of submitting for publication. I apologize for the confusion and/or inconvenience!]

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The Trumpet Child

By Linford Detweiler

The trumpet child will blow his horn
Will blast the sky till it’s reborn
With Gabriel’s power and Satchmo’s grace
He will surprise the human race

The trumpet he will use to blow
Is being fashioned out of fire
The mouthpiece is a glowing coal
The bell a burst of wild desire

The trumpet child will riff on love
Thelonious notes from up above
He’ll improvise a kingdom come
Accompanied by a different drum

The trumpet child will banquet here
Until the lost are truly found
A thousand days, a thousand years
Nobody knows for sure how long

The rich forget about their gold
The meek and mild are strangely bold
A lion lies beside a lamb
And licks a murderer’s outstretched hand

The trumpet child will lift a glass
His bride now leaning in at last
His final aim to fill with joy
The earth that man all but destroyed

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