Poem: Dark Angel

Dark Angel

Dark music. Old time blues wailing on the stereo.
It feels like a bar, this old diner where you sip your coffee.

At the table next to you, two old men
discuss the Revelation of John
as they eat their raspberry pancakes,
the end times.
Somehow, it fits the music. It fits your mood.

Not that you are in the end times,
far from it. Not that you know, anyway.
Your life is far better than you deserve,
better than you imagined yourself.
The coffee is good. The work is meaningful,
and even the blues playing on the radio
remind you more of joy, of your own dark pleasure
in the listening, the remembering of late nights
in smoky bars, of your father sitting in his recliner,
listening, a small smile on his face.

You lost music for a time. Lost your taste for it,
or, if not your taste, the energy to seek it out.
Your world went quiet, the only voice you heard
was your own, a scolding harsh sound, well versed
in your every failure, your every weakness,
a broken record of a broken life,
an all too common tale.

You can remember a day, years into the misery,
when you had moved to this quiet place you now call home.
It was May and you slept with the windows open.
Birds sang.
Surely they had been singing every morning.
It was, after all, well into spring.
But you heard them. Something had changed
and even if you could not say what,
you remembered music.

It is just a diner. An old train station
moved from one town to this one.
They serve breakfast, not beers,
and yet, the feel, early in the morning
is like late night in the Rebel Yell,
a biker bar you once knew. Slow and smoky,
a place to remember, blues as your prompt,
where you have been
and how far you have come.

About this poem

In a place of deep, deep gratitude this morning. My life is so good. Who would have thought it?

I feel sometimes, that I have an angel watching over me, and if I do, it is a dark one like this.

The picture was taken in Rome, a dark angel looking over the Forum, the graveyard that was once the center of the city and marble and memories.

There are old time blues playing here in my favorite diner this morning.

From all those things, this poem.



  1. The real truth about music, Tom! Thanks for the reminder and the memory. In my busyness how often I forget — but then I hear a few bars from a piano and the music centers me down — I remember from whence I’ve come. Life is indeed a journey but it’s the music along the way that gives it meaning. Well said, my Friend.

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