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THE BEAT

A man uncomfortable with his age,

at a party under a tree

far older than he,


said, “Couldn’t they

at least change the beat

once in a while?”

While under the tree,

“I’m old,” he added,


to confirm his own

presentiments.


This tree has opened my soul

in the past, and

I think it makes me gentler.


“Open your soul, man,”

I said and regretted it,

for that is not how

the soul speaks.


“You get the party that you get.”


And young John,

for that was how

he called himself

(taking it seems

the perspective

of the ancient of trees),


heard nothing but reproach,

though what I meant was:

Be Free.


“I have a situation in

Malindi,” John said

and thus faded himself

un-gently into

lonely ambiguity,


the latter his only fear.

“Change the beat,”

he said, under a tree

that sits anonymous

for centuries.


How can we be unhappy

in the presence

of such a thing?

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