August 2018
Goodbye, Queen

"Goodbye, Queen" - 8/16/18

In Greek, Arabic and English, the name "Aretha" means "excellent, virtuous"
In soul, body and mind, the name "Aretha" means "excellence, art, justice"
I sit, legs crossed like a yogi and let the reality of what it means to lose a legend
Pour over me like molasses, 'til tears predictably fall and gravity's sobriety collapses

What is it makes it possible for God-given gifts to defy human-derived egos and
In so doing, navigate the puzzle-mazes of reality with heaping doses of duality?
Soul-woman, singer-pianist, activist-songwriter, mother-sister, master-student
Always seeking more knowledge, refining her piano talents at Julliard during

Downtime that must've been scarce, captured smoking casually in images that otherwise
Seem swathed in innocence belying her belief that rock 'n roll was "wholesome"
Gospel daughter who never remotely left her roots behind she dropped minks
On the ground like they were second-skins with more drama and showmanship

Than anyone with such a pure through line to heaven should ever have needed
To prove any point. Deflecting illness as though it might somehow cast shadows
On memories every man, woman and child in American and around the world possesses
Of what it means to hear "respect" sung like the lack of it was a 5-alarm fire

Greatness is something palpable that cannot be described and time after time
Whenever I've tried to name the source of soul, truth, "vibe", I come back to life
Asleep as I was before I revisited the well of beauty, strength, discipline
Insight to understand gratitude so often comes once its distillation via Majesty is gone