Dylan at 80
24 May 1941
We were both born in the month of May
in the early war-year of ‘41.
Each of us has lived a singular story,
of days spent in the warming sun.
Walking the streets of childhood
Foot fall on smooth, worn stones
Growing stronger day by day
the gathering of bones.
No, no, no,
it ain’t me babe
It ain’t me you’re
lookin’ for babe.
You sang the 60s into life
told the ballad of those cold-war days
Called-out words from blinded eyes
tested life’s uncertain ways.
Your voiced guitar, a steady gaze
that gave song words wider vision
in a new-found time of consequence
without the necessary permission.
The answer my friend
is blowin’ in the wind,
the answer is blowin’
in the wind.
The band played on, the voice grew hoarse
as you sang around from place to place,
assembled words in strings and loops
harmonica pressed tight to face.
My own story is simply told
in broken words and half-formed lines
shaped the way my crafted tales
cut the stone from my poor mine.
Come gather 'round people
wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
around you have grown
The changing echo of passing years
the challenging voice of stage-sung chords
the never-ending tour from here to there
as chorus words defied threatening swords.
Cradle each rich-soiled song in open, hollow hands
pause between words and reflect on meaning
in these fading twilight years, rest awhile
but keep on dreaming.