In the land of Sinatra and Dylan
In the early days of The Blue Moment, I published a poem called “The Cool School”. Roy Kelly, the poet in question, wrote this new one in San Francisco last summer, several months before the announcement that, on February 2, Bob Dylan will release an album of songs associated with Frank Sinatra, called Shadows in the Night, previewed on bobdylan.com by a version of “Full Moon and Empty Arms”.
AT THE END OF AMERICA
By Roy Kelly
At the end of America looking west
and thinking east, surrounded by
the sadness of leaving, thinking of voices
under the vastness of the endless sky
that rolls back across days and nights,
successions of darkness and light, so strange
and so ordinary, all the hours and miles to home.
And here fallen cloud like a gorgeous mountain range
rearing and roiling on top of this one, its lower
reaches of plump softness already flowing
white and thin, dispersed and sparse down
gullies and ravines as we contemplate going,
brooding and musing on a world already gone,
and this one, always coming to pass,
the radio voices always alive in the whenever moment
of listening, even if high school class
was where they entered your heart and soul.
And now someone with silver hair
looks back from every reflective surface,
leaving you wondering how he arrived there.
Looking west and east, imagining those voices
that began with actual people and are now a myth
that conjures a country and time, the emotional history
of every age their records grew up with:
Bob Dylan and Frank Sinatra, soundings from a cloud
that covers the waterfront of this and last century,
every past and every future in polar voices
that blow in the wind that comes to fly with me
at the end of America, looking forward
and back, remembering love’s strange rights and wrongs,
insignificant and wonderful under a continental sky,
and the blessed ordinary magic of songs.