Bill Withers.  (July 4, 1938 – March 30, 2020)


You gave me Lean on me

an anthem for


supporting and helping

each other to stand

you said it was more than okay

to need  to lean sometime

on someone and you would

be that someone

that leaning could be fortifying

and strength building

cause we all need someone

to lean on


You made me look

at my own hands

differently and those

of my mother

after you sang

Grandma’s Hands

hands were never the same

again for me and hundreds

of children in the Oakland

School district

for whom I played

your song to inspire

them to write incredible

poetry about their hands

their grandmas and friends’ hands


You gave such a spin to

Use Me

made me realize

that love was need

and someone using me

and me using someone

was not always bad

could be a deep love

a need as  raw

as plants needing the sun

and you made me come to know

that no one could ever use me up

How could you

when you opened my heart

to understand what

makes a Lovely Day

is the presence of another

a lover   a child   a friend

how we are motivated

and uplifted by the

existence of others

than turn an ordinary day

Into a Lovely Day

I want more of such days

with your voice. calling it in



a broken heart

can block all the rays

so no matter how I try

Aint no Sunshine

when you’re gone

is the only reality

I can experience

In that moment

our interconnectedness

taking me out

causing me to forget

my truth


But you bring me right back

Into life into nature

Into the dream of union

that together

Just the Two of Us

can return  and restore

the two us are



to soar

as you are soaring now

my brother   writer and singer

of songs that thunder…download

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