Wendell Eugene: A Night to Remember by Neetu

January 26, 2021 by in category Poet's Day by Neetu Malik tagged as , , , , , , with 2 and 0
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a trombone in a spotlight


Wendell Eugene: A Night to Remember

Rain drops drizzled
from the night sky,
café lights twinkled
in dream-lit New Orleans

you strode gracefully–
ninety and one years of life
trailing grandly behind

your trombone
dazzling on the stage,
you raised a toast to
the joy of living
among fans and friends

I watched you tune
your gleaming instrument,
lifting it to your lips
with the ease
of one who knows
an old Fidus Achates–

as one who has carried
ecstasy and heartache
through time’s mist
and glory

my eyes
transfixed upon
shimmering brass
as you played
wondrously

you turned to the applause,
our eyes met, you smiled

awed by your presence,
charmed by the smile
of a music man

who brought jazz to life
every night

for me, it was a first time,
and perhaps the last
at that fine restaurant.

©Neetu Malik


In honor and memory of Wendell Eugene (1923-2017), the longest-performing jazz musician/trombonist of New Orleans.


Some of Neetu’s Books


Author Bio
Author Bio
Born in India, Neetu has lived in Austria, England, and Canada before settling in the Eastern USA in 1994. Neetu’s eclectic work reflects her diverse background as she explores the joy and darkness of the human condition in poems and stories noteworthy for their intensity in brief span. Her poetry is published in journals and Anthologies from Australia, USA, UK, and India. Her poem, “Soaring Flames”, was awarded First-Place by the NY Literary Magazine (2017). She has also been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, 2019 for her poem “Sacred Figs” published by Kallisto Gaia Press in their Ocotillo Review in May, 2018.
  • Molting Bird by Neetu

    It must have been 
    a stormy night
    when love flew out the window
    of my vacant room 

    like a feather 

    from a molting bird.

  • Dreamcatcher by Neetu

    she gathers dreams that were
    shattered in the last storm
    fragments burnt and charred
    when lightning struck, turned
    an armful of hopes to ash—
    she laces them into a willow hoop

  • Water Lilies by Neetu

    wetting my feet
    in the old pond

    I pause           to remember

  • Curiosity by Neetu

    how many steps
    to the edge of the world
    she wants to know

  • Growing Feathers by Neetu

    we were wingless
    until we knew love

    our breathless breath
    lifted us
    into rainbows

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Born in India, Neetu has lived in Austria, England, and Canada before settling in the Eastern USA in 1994. Neetu’s eclectic work reflects her diverse background as she explores the joy and darkness of the human condition in poems and stories noteworthy for their intensity in brief span. Her poetry is published in journals and Anthologies from Australia, USA, UK, and India. Her poem, “Soaring Flames”, was awarded First-Place by the NY Literary Magazine (2017). She has also been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, 2019 for her poem “Sacred Figs” published by Kallisto Gaia Press in their Ocotillo Review in May, 2018.
  • Patrice says:

    Thank you Neetu for the wonderful tribute of my dad, Wendell Eugene. Despite his busy schedule as a talented and popular musician, he always found time for his family. He loved playing music and making people happy.

    • Neetu Malik says:

      Patrice, I felt your dad’s spirit in just that one evening and am so fortunate that I got to meet him, however briefly, and watch him perform. Thank you for stopping by to comment.

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