----By Consuelo Tonsgard
Eternal Flame

I "met" Dino Valenti through his music in the 1970's. One day a friend of mine brought all of his music over to my place and announced that he only purchased "really good" music. He had all of Quicksilver's albums and turned me on to their music. Years passed. Last year I became the proud owner of a new H2 with really good Bose speakers. I remembered how good Dino's voice sounded--out of this world, with the reverb on! So I bought a couple of Quicksilver's CDs. Dino's voice makes you want to know more about him. After daydreaming about him day after day for awhile, I wondered, just who is this guy, and what is he doing now? So I began searching the internet and discovered he had passed on. I was depressed for like a month. I wrote this poem as a tribute to Dino. Unfortunately, I never met him. On the other hand, it is fortunate, as I know I would have fallen hard for him and died of a broken heart. Passionate, volatile, spiritual. His voice says it all.



Somewhere in Connecticut
your history echoes through
deserted lots once filled
with travel trailers and Big Top gear
and the breeze over Danbury hills
whispers your name through trees
whose leaves drift down upon the ground
that holds your crypt of bones.

Dino, the time is coming when you will wake,
but in the meantime you gave me hope.

Somewhere in Connecticut
they remember a fire-eyed boy
whose carnie spirit followed him like a shadow
to the west coast where bright lights
surrounding the gigs and jams and scams
faded to stark ugliness and desolation
in the aftermath of three day binges
and only a handful understood
the perfection that drove you mad.

Dino, the time is coming when I, too, will sleep,
but in the meantime you made me breathe again.

In the tender lacework of my soul
your magic decorates the maze
and when you open up the gates
I will recognize your eyes and hold your new songs
in my heart, a cloud of jewelled colors
glittering in the timeless time
of time to come.

Dino, the time is coming.

© 2003 Connie Tonsgard



Natalie Merchant/Carnival