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David Budbill

we are
bones and ash,
the roots of weeds
poking through
our skulls.
simple clothes,
empty mind,
full stomach,
alive, aware,
right here,
right now.
Drunk on music,
who needs wine?
Come on,
let’s go dancing
while we’ve
still got feet.

From While We've Still Got Feet (Copper Canyon Press, 2005).
Used with the author's permission.


David Budbill (1940 - 2016) was born in Cleveland, Ohio to a streetcar driver and a minister's daughter. A track star in high school, he worked at a variety of jobs, with a particular interest in social justice and the great outdoors. After obtaining a bachelor's degree in philosophy and art history and a master's in divinity, David turned his focus to words. In the course of his career, he wrote eight books of poetry, seven plays, two novels, two books for children, a collection of short stories, dozens of essays, and the libretto for an opera. He also collaborated frequently with avant-garde jazz legend William Parker. A one-time commentator on National Public Radio's All Things Considered, David received numerous awards for his work, much of which was inspired by the years he spent living in rural Vermont. Learn more about him at




Post New Comment:
barbara eknoian:
Love it! Especially the last line "Let's go dancing."
Posted 07/07/2014 12:10 PM
wendy morton:
Bones and ash. Remember this. Live.
Posted 07/07/2014 10:49 AM
Fabulous reminder, especially for those of us longer-in-tooth than others.
Posted 07/07/2014 07:40 AM
nothing more to be said!
Posted 07/07/2014 07:29 AM
Drunk on music, who needs wine? Yes!!
Posted 07/07/2014 07:17 AM
Great perspective!
Posted 07/07/2014 06:38 AM
Ross Kightly:
Too right, David! The roots of weeds will get long enough to play - so we need to make the most of our limited recreational interval and get on with revelling. A timely reminder to forget about two left feet! Thank you.
Posted 07/07/2014 03:02 AM

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