When I can't sleep
because I'm in NJ
and not the Wyeth,
winter fields
of Wisconsin I miss
to the point of

I walk out
to the back of
the garage
and if I'm blessed
with clear sky
I look at the few strong stars
that survive there.

I stand in the cold,
small-hour quiet, and
think very hard
of the constant, solid
bedrock Bill Crow and
Gus Johnson put down for
Bob Brookmeyer and

and Gerry,

Sweet Jesus, and Gerry

to play their melodic tennis upon,
there in May '62,
in Manhattan,
so Weill's
Lost In The Stars
could spin into the universe
and sparkle back to us,
to hold,

This firmly in mind
I look up
and up again at those
thin Jersey stars

to say
an inadequate thanks;

my thin reed
too small a tribute
to that celestial sax;
that baritone;
that long, slow pledge

that moan, that love played
and absolutely
never meant to go away.

Karl Garson
Barnwood, 2008