Author: Karsemeyer, John

Oh Death
 

Death is coming,
but not today,
probably.
So now is the time
to say, “I’m sorry,”
to you know who.
Today is the day.

Death is coming,
but not today,
probably.
So now is the time
to forgive
you know who.Today is the day.

Death is coming,
but not today,
probably.
So now is the time
to open that case
and play that instrument.
Today is the day.

Death is coming,
but not today,
probably.
So now is the time
to give that instrument
that you never play anymore
to Kids On Bluegrass.
Today is the day.

Death is coming,
but not today,
probably.
So now is the time

to call and make a hotel reservation
for the 48 hour jam in Bakersfield.
Today is the day.

Death is coming,
but not today,
probably.
So now is the time
to sign-up for Music Camp.
Today is the day.

Death is coming,
but not today,
probably.
So now is the time
To change those strings
that are one year old.
Today is the day.

Death is coming,
but not today,
probably.
So now is the time
to learn that new song
you’ve wanted to do
for months and months.
Today is the day.

Intermission: Reading an article in the magazine, “Bluegrass Unlimited,” the June 2001 issue, I discovered Ola Belle Reed. Among her many musical accomplishments, she wrote the song, “High On A Mountain.” She got the inspiration, and wrote the song, while she was visiting her mother’s grave in Grayson, Virginia.

Right now, as I write this, I am next to the grave of Jack London, the famous author. Jack and I are high on a mountain in Glen Ellen, California. I’m wondering, “What would Jack do if he had a chance for one more day?” If he could leap up, like Lazarus, and go-for-it like a bright burning flame for 24 hours, non-stop, what the heck would he do?

Maybe he would write a short story. Maybe he would go running wild all over this mountain. Maybe he would go down-from-the-mountain to the town of Glen Ellen and spend some time in the bar that he frequented so often. Maybe he’d get on a horse early in the morning, ride to the top of this Sonoma Mountain, and then head west for the coast beaches. And keep going as long and as far as he could before the sun set, then on some more under a full moon until his time was up at midnight. Maybe he’d luck-out and happen upon a bluegrass festival somewhere along the way.

One thing is for sure, he’d make the best of his day.

Death is coming,
But not today,
probably.
So now is the time
To go and play music
For folks who don’t
get to hear it.
Today is the day.

Death is coming,
but not today,
probably.
So now is the time
to go to that
bluegrass jam.
The one you’ve said
you’d go to,
but haven’t yet.
Today is the day.

Death is coming,
but not today.
So now is the time
to renew your CBA membership.
To start a band.
To learn an instrument.
To learn a different instrument.
To you-know-what.
Oh death, be gone.
Today is not the day….


“High on a mountain oh, wind blowing free,
Thinking about the days that used to be.
High on a mountain oh, standing all alone,
Wonderin’ where the years of my life have flown.”
Ola Belle Reed
 
Posted:  12/12/2009



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