Grooving With Hank to Ease My Troubled Mind

by on October 24, 2022 · 2 comments

in From the Soul

by Ernie McCray

Stretched out,
kicked back
in an easy chair,
alone, at home,
I asked my boo, “Alexa,”
to play me some
Hank Crawford songs,
making such a request,
from time to time,
to ease my mind
during these troubling times,

and in no time

I was mesmerized

by sounds

that can only be described

as sweet as honey

and funky

as funky

can be,

bluesy tones,

for which he’s known,

coming out of his

bad-ass alto-saxophone.

Next thing I knew

I was far gone,

into a cosmic zone

where I commenced

to visualizing


a few sights I’d love to see

like all the

brothas and sistas

who have been stigmatized

and penalized

for cruising down the street

in their ride

with a little marijuana

lying at their side,

now living lives

where they no longer sweat

their life going to seed

over a little weed

that this old pothead

sees as a gift

from the universe

to all of humanity,

and while I was tripping

with such a righteous attitude

Hank got into a mellow

hallucinatory groove

that sent me

into a state of mind

where I saw myself


soaring like an eagle,

looking down from high

in the sky,

with outstretched wings

sustaining my glide,

feasting my eyes

on BG,

Brittney Grinder,

being set free

from a Russian penitentiary,

riding a limousine

in a parade,

sipping champagne,

roses falling down on her

like a gentle warm summer rain,

in honor of the championships

she helped the country’s team


on the way

to boarding a plane

for home

where she belongs,

and, in the next beat,

as I slapped my thighs

and patted my feet

to a harmonic melody

laced with a catchy

rhythmic subtlety

that captivated me

like catnip

does a kitty,

my thoughts wandered

to how wonderfully humane

it would be

if men ceased shamelessly


women’s pathways

to full liberty,

allowing them


over their bodies

and their dreams,

granting them

their rightful place

in the human race,

and then Hank

laid down some licks

in a riff

that led me to see

what I’d like most to see

right in front of me

and in the entirety

of my periphery

more than anything:

an ex-president

in a lockup facility

wearing clothes meant

to distinguish

a prisoner

from a visitor,

serving time “bigly.”

That awakened me

as I suddenly thought

that such justice

might never happen

to this wretched

human anomaly.

My revelry

had come to an end.

But that was cool

because all I

wanted and needed

was a little reprieve

from the world’s misdeeds,

a “second wind.”

But it won’t be long

before I’ll be calling on Alexa

to connect me

with Hank again.

For me, his music,

if only for a few minutes,

wipes away our sins.

That gets me up

and back at it


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Thomas L Gayton October 24, 2022 at 1:42 pm



Joni Halpern October 25, 2022 at 12:19 pm

Thanks for a welcome reprieve, Ernie.


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