He Plays...

by H.L. Nichols

You've heard his work before

At 3rd and Chestnut to be sure

Into your ear, hear seashells that speak

Lovely the sound, of the seashore

So sweet


Tenor sax in his hand, birthing

Melding to the bop of the urban band

The pound to the concrete

The shuffle to a million feet,

Passersby's feet, improvisation unique


He plays...


One of the underground greats

Blessed like Hank Mobley man

Small in stature, the cat can blow

Nah, Man you don't know

Until you've heard his sax speak


A sublime message of hope

Where there is pain he is cope

Into the mean fiends veins

Mystically he's become folks

Song, for he is folklore


He plays...


The grizzled man is history

He is peace into foreign lands

A missionary to mercenaries' man

He's played Favorite Things with Coltrane

Into a world of his own, Of Miles he speaks firsthand

And Jazz Masters still in the can


Picture him on stage

He's been with Phyllis Hyman

And Just like Pres with Billie Holiday man

At Carnegie Hall, And on Broadway he's played

In smoke filled beer gardens, the game don't fade

But on this chilly October evening, in Philly



He plays...


A coffee can Miss, to spare some if you can

Or "Drop some o dat soft money Man"

Just like when he had a bit with a band

You have to see this cat perform man


Imagine an ambassador with no keys to the city

Nah. He don't want no pity

Because he knows

He has a gift that's "precious"

So as long as he has breath he'll blow


He plays...

Fudd plays

He Plays... by H.L. Nichols

© Copyright 2005. All rights reserved. No portion of this work may be duplicated or copied without the expressed written consent of the author.

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