Celes Tisdale at the Burchfield Penney Art Center celebrating John Coltrane

Celes Tisdale at the Burchfield Penney Art Center celebrating John Coltrane

Trane Done Come and Gone (Remembrance of John William Coltrane Jr. 1926-1967) by Celes Tisdale

Friday, September 25, 2015

"Never seen the like since been born,
The people keep a-coming,
And the train done gone" — Traditional

The was a train that passed by here
With Trane, Coltrane, John who was and still
Mystical, universal, summoned, spiritual
And,the people keep a-coming and Trane done gone
Out over us, but we hear you, John with Leon Thomas,
Alice, and Ravi, for you are a love supreme and among
My favorite things, and you blew, Trane as part of
A Master Plan, peace and happiness to every man, woman, child,
And, we understand "Naima" and heard you and Monk at
Carnegie Hall breaking out a melody in the rhythm, and
We listened, John, Coltrane, Trane
'Cause here comes the train again,
And, we didn't need a moment's notice,
So, take a giant stepup


Celes Tisdale is one of the heroes of Buffalo.

He is a distinguished teacher, awarded the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence for his work at SUNY Buffalo, at SUNY Buffalo State, and regional community colleges. And his work was shaped by service in the Buffalo Public Schools. Young Audiences of Western New York recognized his influence with its Outstanding Artist Award.

And he is a poet whose mastery of language and its rhythms— nd his skills with people— helped rebuild a wounded Buffalo following the riots of the late 1960s, before and after the murder of Martin Luther King. He established the Black Poetry Workshop, and that led to his service as director of the African American Cultural Center and the establishment of its hall for dramatic language, the Paul Robeson Theater.
Retired now, his service in putting together a writer’s workshop at Attica State Prison, following its riots is remembered by those he served and secured by the books he created with inmates, notably “Betcha Ain’t: Poems from Attica.” — Anthony Bannon, Burchfield Penney Art Center, executive director, September 25, 2015