Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Hearing "Yesterday"

Paul McCartney

The Daily Post's prompt for today:

Who did you idolize as a teenager? Did you go crazy for the Beatles? Ga-ga over Duran Duran? In love with Justin Bieber? Did you think Elvis was the livin’ end?

While the world is grieving over the death of David Bowie, I express my sorrow at his loss, but my teenage years were filled with the Beatles and their music.

I loved them all, and loved all their music, but my favorite was Paul McCartney. And my favorite composition of his was “Yesterday.”

Several years ago I wrote this poem about hearing “Yesterday” for the first time:

Hearing Yesterday

Hearing “Yesterday” the first time – 1964-
my bedroom in the house on Everhart Street,
I was fifteen.
February night.
At night my radio could tune into Boston.
When I turned it on, the song was just beginning –
Three syllables down the scale,
cello droning behind them.
Throat tightened, legs loosened.
My favorite song forever.

Forty-five years later,
troubles not so far away .
One long lost love called in 1971
better to laugh in the desert
than cry by the creek,
but I could not move to the desert.

Today I live by that creek again –
cornered by circumstance,
shedding my escape fantasies,
singing with Ringo
No no no no I don’t smoke it no more…

By the creek,
today tenuous as a spider web,
unpredictable as fire.

I believe in yesterday,
which does not change,
where John Lennon still walks
out the door of the Dakota.

Another song says don’t stop thinking about tomorrow.
But I believe in yesterday.
Another song says the landslide brought me down…
and I’m getting older, too,
so I believe in yesterday.

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