Eulogy for a Jazz Drummer

(eight bars of drums in front, then hi-hat. . .)

Paul died,
eyes closed here
but open wide
to another world,
mind unfurled
in wonderment
at the end.

He was our friend,
a cool cat on his drumseat perch
but more than just that—
a soul
in search,
even though prone,
the tone
of his laughter
echoing back
through time,
his goal,
his mind
entwined with ours, even after.

He played smooth by choice,
his time like butter.
But give him fours
or on his own,
he’d sing, he’d roar,
yes, all alone
he was, to say it
plain and simple,
a unique voice,
a real bad mutha.

Like Bird, he lives in our esteem,
in that feeling of swing.
He was on our team—
the good guys, bright spirit,
the world-wise,
the “let’s hear it
for the band” guys.
He had that thing. . .
and how.

Keeper of time,
lover of jazz and life,
a good cat to hang with.
He’s soaring, swinging—
beyond all his strife, now.

We’ll miss him.

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