Here’s a little example of Monk’s wizardry (from 1970, filmed playing his classic composition from the ’40’s, “‘Round Midnight“)
Here’s Geronimo’s Medicine Song. (transcribed and translated by Natalie Curtis):
“The song that I will sing is an old song, so old that none knows who made it. It has been handed down through generations and was taught to me when I was but a little lad. It is now my own song. It belongs to me. This is a holy song (medicine-song), and great is its power. The song tells how, as I sing, I go through the air to a holy place where Yusun (The Supreme Being) will give me power to do wonderful things. I am surrounded by little clouds, and as I go through the air I change, becoming spirit only.”
O, ha le/ O, ha le!/Awbizhaye/Shichl hadahiyago niniya/O, ha le/O, ha le
Tsago degi naleya/Ah – yu whi ye!/O, ha le/O, ha le!
O, ha le/O, ha le!/Through the air/I fly upon the air/Towards the sky, far, far, far,/O, ha le/O, ha le!/There to find the holy place,/Ah, now the change comes o’er me!/O, ha le/O, ha le!
We’ll conclude with a sweet Gary Snyder poem ( a slice of pleasing domesticity, evoking Geronimo’s name) – “Changing Diapers’:
How intelligent he looks!/on his back/both feet caught in my hand/his glance set sideways,/on a giant poster of Geronimo/with a Sharp’s repeating rifle on his knee.
I open, wipe, he doesn’t even notice/nor do I./Baby legs and knees/toes like little peas/little wrinkles, good-to-eat,/eyes bright, shiny ears,/chest swelling drawing air,
No trouble, friend,/you and me and Geronimo/ are men.