Levon Helm was born in Marvell, Arkansas
and grew up in Turkey Scratch.
No-one types this kind of thing down anymore
if they’re interested in making it up.
His father and mother, Diamond and Nell,
were cotton farmers with unfeasibly perfect names (also).
They encouraged their children (it says here, for I did not know them)
to sing and play. Levon went about that.
I once wrote some short paragraphs with an ink pen
about insects and animals and us human beings
and how we learn from all we learn from
and then become those things that were contributed to us
for later use whether in fact we understand it to be as such
at the outset of the time concerned. In the end
(or at the beginning and at the top of the yellow piece of paper
containing what I’d written) I wrote the title ’Making Use Of Tools’
In the very late nineteen fifties
Garth Hudson gained valuable practice
as regards his future organ performing
(which he later became revered for
amongst the organly reverent)
by playing at his uncle’s funeral parlor.
This was in Ontario, Canada where people have to die
the same as everywhere.
[April 19, 2012]