My love for words didn’t just spring from thin air. To prove that, here’s a poem my father wrote a few days ago to honor Jimi Hendrix’ birthday. Note also that it’s in his favorite form: a series of limericks.
Happy Birthday Jimi Hendrix
by Ken Miller (the elder)
He was born in Seattle this day,
Where the Hawks and the Mariners play;
Where it rains quite a lot,
And Bill Gates sails his yacht ,
While he sips on a rare chardonnay.
In the army he served for a spell;
But things didn’t go very well.
So he left to pursue
What he wanted to do:
Playing songs in a club or hotel.
Jimi later moved east to New York
With no visible means of support.
He was fully rehearsed,
But he struggled at first.
All his efforts were coming up short.
But he didn’t give up on his dream.
And soon he was gathering steam.
And began making hay,
With the way he could play,
In the days of the Johnson regime
John Hammond saw Jimi perform,
And a star was summarily born.
His mettle was proved.
Soon to England he moved,
Where imbibing warm beer is the norm
The Experience later was founded
By Jimi, who soon was surrounded
By groupies galore
Who were shouting for more
From this man who amazed and astounded
For Monterrey Pop he returned
To the States, back when draft cards were burned
To annoy Uncle Sam
In the era of ‘Nam
Jimi’s talent was fully affirmed
At Woodstock he also appeared
On the musical path that he steered
He was seen as a god
Both at home and abroad
By his fans he was loved and revered
But there also were demons at play
Jimi’s brain cells were wasting away
From his substance abuse
Not unlike Lenny Bruce
In an era of moral decay
In his 28th year Jimi died
At the end of a magical ride
He expired too soon
Like his buddy, Keith Moon
With his girlfriend alone at his side
Jimi would have turned 72
On this day and be hoisting a few
But he’s resting in peace
Since his soul was released
And we bid him a tearful adieu