#5 The Poetry of Walter Bishop Jr.

OWED TO BIRD
by Walter Bishop Jr.

In the beginning first was the word
And the word was Bird,
The word that we heard
The great Messiah had come
To lift us higher
Free us from slavery to the Blues
We paid some dues, drank some booze
Got a little high
“How High the Moon”
Do you know that tune?
He was born a Virgo, the sign of the healer
The sign of the revealer
And to us he was the dealer
He was “A Bird of Paradise,” “An Early Bird”
“A Bird of Love” who made us more than we were before
A bird of passion and compassion
He was our Christ after a fashion
Well, some said he was loco, but still drank his “Koko”
He strung us out, without a doubt
Just give us one ounce of “Billie’s Bounce”
And “Parker’s Mood,” how’s that for food?
And “Repetition” is pure nutrition
He swallowed life whole and spit it back out of his horn
Now you know how BeBop was born
He was the mother of BeBop
Diz was its dad
They gave us a child that was truly bad
He paid the price in labor pains
And from his womb perfection reigns
He was a giant although not compliant
Dress like a Mau-Mau
Piss in a phone booth
Get a nickel bag and cool out that tooth
What outrageous behavior to come from a saviour
And how could one so erratic leave us ecstatic?
Bird with Strings, it gives me wings
Oh, how my heart sings
He was Gulliver in the land of Lilliputians
Jonathan Livingston Seagull too
Now his passing was tragic, but he left us pure magic
If he liked you he’d call you Jim
If your thing was flimsy he called you Jimsy
If you were half-assed slick, he’d call you Dick
Oh how I miss him, if he were here I would kiss him
Right in the mouth
How we all loved him and he loved us too
Black, White, Latino and Jew
To name a few
Birdland was named for him
They called him Yardbird and my how he flew
Higher and higher, oops, there goes the Messiah
Now he’s out of sight
So brothers and sisters, whoever you are
Keep your eye on the sparrow
And follow the star.

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One Response to #5 The Poetry of Walter Bishop Jr.

  1. Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzz says:

    What a brilliant brother!!!! He falls under guise of ” neglected artists”. However true art will
    eventually be seen and heard by those that have true ears to listen and see !!! and most importantly’
    to Feel the beauty of the culture. Go ‘ head Bish……..

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