Fruit of the Loquat Tree

Gus Blaisdell's studio shelf

Gus has a shelf in his study filled with found objects.

They glow in the south window,

they resonate in memory.

Gus has a grandson named

Jack Augustus.

He twirls a phrase like other children swing

tin pails at the beach.

Jack says

bop de bop de bop de bop.

This beat is coded in his genes.

 

Loquat, loquat.

How many varieties can there be

of fruit from this one loquat tree?

 

Marshal Will Kane turns back

from retirement

each semester. Gus asks his students

Can you hear it? Do you GET it?

There’s courage in this art,

no art without courage.

It’s always nearly noon,

ask Wen Ho Lee.

Loquat, loquat.

Bop de bop de bop de bop.

 

A friend from Socorro days asks me

are you related to Gus

by marriage?

 

Let’s skip a survey of the intervening decades

and turn to objects that glow in memory.

Gus taught a class there.

Are you related to Gus by

learning?

Loquat, loquat.

Bob de bop de bop de bop.

How many varieties can there be

of fruit from this one loquat tree?

 

Translate loquat from Mandarin: Rush Orange.

Pronounce its taxonomic name:

Eriobotrya japonica.

Follow it hanging in the western sky,

round burnt orange disk.

Follow it to the first tree

rooted in oriental earth, rooted in Adam’s memory.

Seeds from this one tree blew across oceans,

flowered in strange, distant worlds.

Can you hear the rhythm that carried these seeds?

Do you GET it?

Loquat, loquat.

Bop de bop de bop de bop

 

 

16 Sept 2000

Mark Ivey

“Written for Gus” Sixty-Fifth Birthday

 

 

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