One of the first poets to memorialize Don Drummond was Mervyn Morris and in his poem, "Valley Prince," the speaker in the poem laments about the relationship of the artist, his vocation and audience. The sound, music, and trombone become metaphors of the poet's craft and the woman becomes a symbol--a representative of a community that despite it's brutal history, prefers existence on a prosaic level. The betrayal is physical and spiritual. It propels the artist towards murder, mayhem, and mania.
Morris and Drummond know the betrayal of a community that refuses complexity. They know, "But straight is not the way; my world/ don' go so, that is lie," and as seekers they take the path of integrity and speak their truth: "Oonu giimme back me trombone, man: / is time to blow me mind."
(for Don D.)
Me one, way out in the crowd,I blow the sounds, the pain,but not a soulwould come inside my worldor tell me how it true.I love a melancholy babysweet, with fire in her belly;and like a spitethe woman turn a whore.Cool and smooth around the beatshe wake the note inside meand I blow me mind.Inside here, me onein the crowd again,and plenty peoplewant we blow it straight.But straight is not the way: my worlddon' go so: that is lie.Oonu gimme back me trombone, man:is time to blow me mind.From The Pond***