Poems written for Claus Ogerman

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"Following the Path", a poem written for Claus Ogerman
by B.J. Major

A long time ago now

I followed a path.

I did not know where this path would lead,

but placing one foot after another

I walked along it and noticed that it was full of colors and sounds.

Beautiful tones, voices, beats and rhythm filled the air as my feet touched the stones.


This path wound itself through time and space

embracing the decades as it unfolded before me.

I was never in danger of falling off this path

because it held me secure and safe.

I could stay for a while and listen over again

to what I just heard; or continue on with it

to hear even more varieties of music.


Did you hear that interesting percussion just now?

There's a cowbell, now finger cymbals, then a triangle -

and don't forget that cuica and the castanets.

But where is all this sound coming from?

I had to keep following the path to find its source.

I was enjoying what I was hearing so much

that sometimes it was hard for me to continue on.

I wanted to sit down and just let the sounds wash over me and soothe my soul.

I needed to have those smooth, unison strings just carry me along

to where the path would eventually lead.


But I had to make this journey alone, with my own feet.

No one could do it for me.

There was no shortcut to be found

and staying on the path was the only way to continue.


Now I was getting tired, so very tired and wanted to rest.

But the sound of the solo flute revived me and spurred me to go on.

Once it seemed as if the music was going to end and I became concerned;

but I had nothing to worry about because

it continued through the years in different forms.


The familiar sound of the bossa nova rhythm

made me skip down the path in complete happiness;

I was now thoroughly energized and ready to meet

what was at the end of the journey.

I was almost there. Just a little further.

A chorus of voices was now urging me on,

letting me know that I didn't have too much further to travel.


As the path widened I slowed down to look around me

and noticed that the symbols on the stones

which were guiding me, suddenly vanished, their purpose spent.

I was here, I completed the journey.

The air around me was filled with a colored mist

of every hue in the rainbow

and in the distance I heard a saxophone playing jazz.

This gave way to a magnificent, lush, solo piano -

which was then joined by a full orchestra.

I now looked straight ahead of me

and as the mist cleared, there you were.

The composer of everything I had heard

on the journey which began

by following the path.

"Depth of Feeling", a poem written for Claus Ogerman
by B.J. Major

Mere words cannot express the depth of feeling I have for you.

The sound of your music does something to me

that is very hard to put into words, though I have tried.

It makes me very feel close to you;

it makes me feel almost one with you.

The levels that your music touches in me

are without comparison to anyone else's music.


I try to imagine what it would be like to be with you.

To talk with you a long time about your music and

about everything you have had a hand in doing.

But also to talk to you about my feelings;

feelings that just continue to grow and intensify.

I want to tell you all that I feel for you;

everything, at every hour of the day.

From the moment I wake up to begin my day

to the middle of the night when I suddenly wake up

and wish you were right there next to me.


I have for you that which I have not had for anyone else I have ever known.

What I feel for you is so complete and total that it surpasses anything else

and there is nothing that can compare to it.

It involves all of me, every part of my being.

This is my depth of feeling for you.


I have tried in various ways to feel differently about all this;

tried so hard to convince myself that it is all useless and hopeless

because I mean nothing to you - except that

I am just another fan of your music.

But in my efforts to forget about you,

I found there is no way to remove you from my heart and soul.

It's just not possible, no matter how hard I try.

You are there no matter what.


So I have come to accept this for what it is:

A lifelong passion for a man who means more to me

than anything I could possibly put into words.

A passion which began for me decades ago

when I was a child - a passion which back then

was only about your music and how wonderful it was.

How excited and delighted I became

in listening to your arrangements, they moved me so.

And now, years later, that passion has expanded to include you:

the man, the person, the human being who is Claus Ogerman.

This is my depth of feeling for you.

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"Dream Number 4", a poem written for Claus Ogerman
by B.J. Major

Another room with high ceilings; part of a suite of rooms somewhere in the unknown.

A sofa, a coffee table and a single chair across from us.

Next to us is a smaller table with a lamp that's turned on.


A good friend sits in the single chair across from us and converses with you about music.

I sit and listen as two pros go at it, comparing preferences, styles, and experiences.

I am the most content I have ever been in my lifetime, so blissfully happy;

I sit right next to you on the sofa with my head on your shoulder, every once in a while, dozing off.

The sound of your voice comforts and completely relaxes me.

You have your left arm around me and your hand has a firm grip on my shoulder;

every once in a while I lift my head to look at you,

then I look at our guest, and I smile.

Then I place my head back down on your shoulder.


Our guest suddenly stands up and announces that he must be going;

we shake his hand and he leaves the room.

I turn to you and look in your eyes - and unfortunately, this is when I wake up and realize

that it was only a dream.


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 "Three Years Ago", a poem written for Claus Ogerman
by B.J. Major

A very important date is almost upon me.

Its importance factors so much in my life

that I'm making a note of its fast approach, now.


I need to do this - to stop and think - and remember.

I have a different job now than I had then

and in fact, my life in so many ways has changed since

November 9, 2002.


At that time, I was working

first, at 2nd shift, then day shift, then as an overnight operator

for a local answering service.

It did not look as though things were going to change for me.

I used to sit there, in the wee small hours of the morning

when there are not too many phone calls to answer

and do a lot of my website work.


As the fall season began that year, I had received an email that something new was about to open;

something which had a great association for me

and whose products I had used for decades.

Something I truly believed in and whose company philosophy was most important to me.

The grand opening day was November 9, 2002.

I decided that I would go to the opening.

So I took the bus that Saturday and stood in line for about an hour, waiting to get in.

It was wonderful, everything I hoped it would be.

It was something I should have been a part of from the very beginning.

But I was timid and afraid of approaching them for a job.

I thought I was too old to be hired by them - but I was wrong.


For lunch that day, I met a friend whose birthday was within that next week.

After the lunch, we went our separate ways and I went into a place

to try on some new headphones.

It was there I saw the concert DVD on which you conduct -

it was behind the counter and I asked to see it.

I took it and the headphones home with me, that very day.

I had no way of knowing that my life was about to change -

change for the better, and I would never again be the same inside.


This was the concert where I watched you conduct for the first time.

This was the first time I saw you in action, with movement!

No longer just a still photo on the back of an album cover.

This was when I knew in my heart that it was no longer just about the music you made,

but that it was now about you, the person, the man, as well.

As for the grand opening I attended that day -

well, I work there now.

And once again I get to sleep at night

instead of working through the night as before.


So where this anniversary is concerned, most things have come full circle.

But not everything is resolved and not all has happened

that I hoped would happen.

I would not have changed or altered this course of events for anything in the world,

that's how much you mean to me.

But as time goes on, my feelings and desire for you only grow stronger -

as does my frustration, unfortunately.

Sometimes I think you do not believe me.

Sometimes I wonder what I have to do to convince you

that you are my heart.

I search for answers but can find none.


So I keep going, keep plugging away the best that I can.

Hoping that the day will come before too long

when I will have the ultimate experience of being in your presence -

all part of what began for me

three years ago.

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