A hunk-a hunk-a burnin’ haiku


Written Aug. 16, 2011

Can you remember
The day Elvis died back in

Elvis changed it all
Genie of youth, rebellion
Out of the bottle

Many hated, feared
What he symbolized, said he
Really couldn’t sing

Long list of haters:
Ed Sullivan, Steve Allen
And Frank Sinatra

Elvis proved ’em wrong
They came around, whether
They meant it or not

Elvis changed it all
But then what? Life isn’t easy
Even when you’re King

Elvis was the pup
Who caught that car, didn’t know
What to do with it

Ill managed, ill used
Bad movies, material
Tarnished the King’s crown

Elvis made comebacks,
Proved he still had it, and yet
Something was missing

No one who really
Loved and reached him, could lead him
To reality

The King died alone
On his throne, you couldn’t write
A sadder punchline

Talent, tragedy
How often they are married
In this crazy world

My aunt passed this year
She loved Elvis like the sun
She never forgot

The King is dead, long
Live the King, in every heart
Ever touched by him

Robert Plant remembers Elvis in the second half of this clip.

Lots of people still do Elvis, but seldom this well. Bob Walkenhorst sings “Suspicious Minds” and “Can’t Help Falling in Love.”

“Happy birthday, Sam” haiku

Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens)
Nov. 30, 1835 – April 21, 1910

“Man is the only
“Animal that blushes. Or
“Needs to,” writes Mark Twain.

Few saw so clearly
Or captured so tellingly
Man’s lasting folly

Yet each of us knows
Someone wise, trenchant, witty
Who keeps us in line

A spouse or a friend
A comic or songwriter
A compass and muse

Garrison Keillor,
Neil Young or Bob Walkenhorst
Fill in your own blank

They’re still pointing out
Our glories, absurdities
So rest easy, Sam

Anniversary 22 haiku

I was married Nov. 4, 1989. Amazingly, I still am. Thanks, Tina.

Groom walks down the aisle
That crazy percussive sound
Was his knees knocking

Twenty-two years passed
I’m not sure now what I feared
Shouldn’t have worried

Went without a hitch
— Except for the one we planned —
And we’re both still here

Thanks Yael, Alison,
Gary for standing with me
My two brothers, too

And Bob for singing
“From a Distance” for Tina,
For me, and our world

The Kelley Hunt Band
Rocked out at the reception
It was quite a day

Lots of memories
And two great children later
I count my blessings

The best is yet to come

The Rainmakers have a new video out. I thought there might be one or two people reading this who haven’t seen it. So there it is. It’s also a good excuse to post some more semi-related pre-blog stuff. Again, chances are good if you’re reading this you know the Rainmakers were a 1980s and ’90s band from Kansas City that got back together this year, 25 years after their first album, and cut another great album, “25 On,” pretty much in five days. (Get it here: http://tinyurl.com/655s34s.)

Anyway, as I get older it’s inspiring and heartening to see people my age and older doing amazing things, and to feel that I’ve never been quite so alive and capable and creative. Thus, “Old Guys” haiku, from March 16:

Old guys have the chops
Rainmakers “25 On”
Better than ever

Old guys really rock
Neil Young, like a hurricane,
Still blows us away

Old guys have the goods
Neil Young showed the way, out-grunged
Every new grunge band

Old guys have Mojo
Like Tom Petty cranking out
His 15th album

Old guys have the touch
Land a plane on the Hudson?
Sully was no kid

Old guys have vision
Frank Lloyd Wright in his 60s
Dreamed Fallingwater

Old guys have the ear
Janacek wrote his classics
At 70-plus

Old guys kick your ass
Then effortlessly drink you
Under the table

Old guys keep going
They were just born to outlast
Punks and pretenders

Old guys do it all
At least the ones who really
Could in the first place

The only thing that
Really gets old is people
Hung up about age

And here’s a little Rainmakers addendum, from April 13, reference to Hendrix’s saying, “Oh no, I’m out of tune again; well, only cowboys stay in tune.”

“Tuning’s for cowboys,”
Jimi said; Rainmakers say,
“Rehearsing’s for kids”