DRIVING HOME, for Alice

Radiant blue grey
clouds above the cold
earth remind me of
the sounds of Fats Navarro
blowing inside the car.
As this vamping wind
shivers my fenders
Long Island seems
sanctified and clear:
holy the earth, these
trees silver and gold
with leaves like ingots
kernelled on their boughs,
this sudden glistening solid
state which static interrupts
metallic bliss. These sounds
are light, inside is out, the
glow as real as any
images of pain he may have
ever known: this hard Bop light...
Today along the Parkway
Fats peirced the Fall of
all of Heaven with his
trumpet sword of delight;
a brand new gusting first snow
darkened the air as silver
dust that, tarnished, split
the frozen hills it touched
like soft ripe orange melons.

From Homage to Fats Navarro, a collection of poems, by Richard Elman (1978)