Long may you run

It’s Neil Young’s birthday
No, let’s make that Youngs’ – there are
So many of him

Heart of gold folkie
Blow the doors off hard rocker
Flayed one-note solos

Protesting for peace
Living the good Earth’s green life
Helping found Farm Aid

Movies directed
“Bernard Shakey” behind cam
That’s Neil’s nom de film

Bridge School benefits
Helping those who need it most
Breaking down some walls

Godfather of grunge
Radiohead tuned in, too
Musical offspring

And all the great songs
Tales of conquest and romance
Blinding, soul searing

Springfield, cinnamon
And sugar, sand and powder
The hurricane’s eye

All the waste of war
The toll of lies, corruption
Drugs’ dark nights, death’s kiss

The comforts of home,
Playing with good friends, old man’s

Showed us how to keep
Creativity’s fire lit
Don’t burn out, don’t rust

Hello, Mr. Soul
You’re still strange, all the changes
Never regret them


Heartland haiku

John Mellencamp, Oct. 7, 1951, Seymour, Indiana

Standing up for us
Mellencamp, American,
Farmers and Main Street

Singing out for us
Small-town hearts, pain, and struggle
Telling our stories

Making art for us
60 birthdays now and still
Restless, striving, strong

Growing up with us
Surprising, celebrating
Rock on, John, rock on