for rufus harley
what possessing spirit took u, rufus?
was it patrick mor maccrimmons’shade?
reeking of oolitic loam, the hedgerows
& boggy ground of the winged isle of
skye? did he invade yr dreams, a
speeding bonny boat like birds on the
wing, across time, haunting u with strains
of the big music, the pibroch & the ceòl mòr?
or maybe it was some anonymous egyptian
prodigy, from the courts of isis or ra,
who played the shawm, the folk oboe or
bamboo clarinet. it matters not that trane,
rollins & stitt drove u out of the tenor clan
for u found yr niche & fulfillment, donning
yr macleod tartan kilt, yr nigerian fila (or
any assorted knit hat u chose), tossing the
drones over yr right shoulder & adapting
the unwieldy bagpipes to a soulful post-bop
idiom; playing yrself like one possessed
into the lexicon of modern jazz.