Broken haiku

I’d never heard of Sam Baker, though I listen to “Cyprus Avenue” pretty regularly. (For any out of towners, that’s Bill Shapiro’s great Saturday music show on KCUR, our gem of a public radio station in Kansas City.) But some friends had tickets and asked my wife and me along to Sam Baker’s show Saturday at the Folly Theater (our beautifully restored, 112-year-old gem of a venue). I’m so grateful I got to see him. Quite a moving show, by a unique talent. A little haiku tribute:

Sam Baker sings it
Plain, plaintive, talking on pitch
A hushed, dusty twang

Sam Baker plays it
Plucked notes set the atmosphere
For tales to unfold

Sam Baker writes it
Cut, bloodied, scarred — mosaics
From life’s shattered shards

Sam Baker knows it
Meaning’s elusive amid
The beauty and pain

Sam Baker sees it
The smallest details reveal
Emotions so deep

Sam Baker lives it
Stories that haunt, love that heals
Though we’re so broken

“Requiem for a heavyweight” haiku

Walt Bodine’s last show is today on KCUR, 10-11 a.m.

It’s been a great ride
For our city’s talk show king
Walt ruled for decades

From his dad’s drugstore
To his KCUR mic
Memories galore

Linwood and Troost was
Crossroads of Kansas City
— And America

As a soda jerk
Walt soaked it all up — asking,
Telling, retelling

This city became
Part of Walt Bodine, and he
A big part of it

Walt found his calling
Behind a radio mic
First in Sedalia

Next came Atchison
Other KC jobs

KCUR called, and Walt
Had found his last gig

The talk of the town
Whoever and whatever
Walt had on his show

Movies and restaurants
Politics, history, gossip
Walt served it all up

Walt’s been fading, true,
For some years now. Still I’ll miss
That voice of our town

World heavyweight champ
Rocky Marciano called
It quits on this date

Walt Bodine signs off
On this date, too. There are no

A nice look at Walt’s career is here.