Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Yeats, Mitchell, et. al.

I've been listening to Joni Mitchell's song "Slouching Toward Bethlehem," which is her version of W. B. Yeats' classic poem "The Second Coming." Mitchell's use of percussion in that song is chilling, and her re-working of the poem is brilliant. My favorite line:

"...with a gaze as blank and pitiless as the sun."

It is beyond presumptuous for me to put his poem, her song, and one of my pathetic little verses in the same post. But, as many a blogger has observed, "what the hell, it's a blog."

Here's my poem:


Brown weeds grow in the cracks of the sidewalk.

It rains almost every afternoon – just the hint of a drizzle starting around 3:00.

But by 4:30, it has stopped like a suspended sentence. The sun, or a cheap imitation of it, takes up its vigil again.

Near the main street, a pink wedding dress hangs alone on a clothesline, fluttering just a little in the dry, desultory breeze.

Small birds fly low and silent between the buildings.

In the lone gas station, a dim light blinks behind the counter where the cash register used to sit.

Someone has set up a card table on the corner, piled with used paperbacks, yellowed pages rustling.

Debris floats in one corner of the half-empty motel pool. A middle-aged couple dozes in the sun, lying side-by-side in plastic lounge chairs.

They hold hands.

1 comment:

Bleeet said...

Curse you, now I got all inspired and wrote me up a poem in homage to the I-35W bridge collapse.