Years ago in a writing class at the brain injury program with my friend Lee. He was a successful architect whose career and family disintegrated after a devastating stroke. He was and is a thoughtful, stoic man who has been bent, but not broken, which is not to say he doesn't laugh. It's just a rare, but welcome phenomenon, like rain in the desert that cause flowers to bloom. In the writing class that I don't remember he brings it up to me sometimes when I pick him up for the radio show (he is my co-host on "Don't Dis My Ability") that I came up with a title for a poem called "The Low Hum of Purple Monkeys"--a poem I never wrote. A smile breaks out when he says the low hum of the purple monkeys and asks me what was I thinking? I still have no idea. This Sunday I am attending his 65th birthday party at the assisted living facility where he lives. My gift, although he is telling everyone to contribute to the radio station, is that a few days ago I wrote this poem which I will read at his party.
The Low Hum of Purple Monkeys
They woke me up
Those darn purple monkeys
Ignoring the sign on the wall
"If you are a purple monkey, please do not hum."
Did the purple monkeys listen?
They could dance or sing
Even play the banjo
But all they wanted to do was hum
Something purple monkeys hate to do
After much discussion it was agreed
They could hum
But it had to be a low hum
Now, I can sleep through the night
Dreaming of lush jungles bathed in green light
Calmed by the low hum of purple monkeys