THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL
(In memory of Randy California)
On the morning after his death
the sun stopped rising;
it sat still on the horizon
staring red-eyed at the motionless dawn-
a bus standing in the shadows where
a car idling alone at a light frozen red;
the howl of a siren
suspended in air like a note of his music,
waiting for the crisis to pass.
Nothing moved, not even
the image of him dancing across the stage.
I longed for a camera that would
hold the moment,
a recorder to save the sound of a world
holding its breath.
Dawn finally broke into daybreak.
I walked home along the usual route
but the city was transformed-
landmarks had vanished,
street signs twisted in wrong directions.
I have not yet found my bearings.
As a tribute to Randy California,
I have culled, at random, quotes from his favorite poem.
“If you can wait and not be tired of waiting,
Or be lied about, don’t deal in lies”,
“If you can watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build “em up with worn-out tools;”
“If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run —
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – – which is more – – you’ll be a Man, my son!
And what a beautiful man you grew up to be,
From a caring friend
In the Winter and Spring of 2005 an ucanny chain of events
guided me to Randy’s mother, Bernice Pearls, residence.
Which only reenforced what I was already witnessing……