This Town

“It will be long ere the marshes resume,
I will be long ere the earliest bird:
So close the windows and not hear the wind,
But see all wind-stirred.”
— Robert Frost, Now Close The Windows

This town, a ghost
Haunting; absent shadows
They lie, uncovered
And weigh heavy on
Catatonia;
Mankind’s woven tomb
Absent soil or mourners,
Absent loving words;
No flowers left to bloom ~
It will be long ere the marshes resume

This town, an echo
Driven into stone
By callused hearts,
As if it were flesh;
And mortar tears
Veil the cries of the Unheard,
Now frozen,
Bury words in darkest night;
Brand dreams of summer days absurd ~
I will be long ere the earliest bird

This town, a song
Of long forgotten days;
Of courage, worn away
By rain’s steady trick (trick?) trick-le;
Dancers’ feet now heavy, weighed with years of mud,
Ancient tunes, hollow; stripped and skinned,
Taunt drowning minds
With adjunct notes,
Leave consciousness thinned ~
So close the windows and not hear the wind

This town, a paradigm;
Indifference taped to every door,
Nailed to every soul that roams the streets.
The crosses we bear
Tower high above our heads,
Leave meaning absent word;
So we squint;
Cover eyes with shades of mirth,
Hold on to fraying dreams, now blurred ~
But (at day’s end) see all wind-stirred.

__________________________________________________________________
Samuel Peralta over at dVerse has us experimenting with the Glosa, a form of poetry of the late 14th century. It starts out with the Cabeza, four lines I borrowed from the marvellous Robert Frost, which provide the ending lines for the following four stanzas.  This is my contribution to Samuel’s great challenge.
Grab a drink and join us at the bar!

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42 thoughts on “This Town

  1. You chose a lovely cadeza and I think you’ve done an amazing job with it, creating a haunting picture.

  2. very cool…i really like how you manage to keep up the mood and voice of the cabeza throughout the whole piece…tight images.. the Dancers’ feet now heavy, weighed with years of mud…

  3. nice…love when you turn to the allusion it is a song, you give depth to it..a history even as it is dying…then the indifference taped to the doors…oy, that gives such a feeling…i have been in these places…

  4. Lovely work of weaving Frost words with yours ~ The loneliness of the ghost town is especially palpable in the second verse ~ Happy to see you trying this challenging form ~ Wishing you happy weekend ~

    Grace

  5. So much sad beauty here–

    This town, an echo
    Driven into stone
    By callused hearts,
    As if it were flesh;

    Ah, that whole second stanza is especially wonderful. Top notch writing. My old hometown died another way–overgrowth.

  6. I always appreciate when someone can combine the emotion of raw poetry with the craft of the artform — that is, in this case, the Glosa. I once tried to write a Glosa using a Bruce Cockburn song and a Smashing Pumpkins song, but it fell flat. This was wonderful, though. Well done.

  7. The town as a ghost, echo, song, paradigm captured me, Frost-like, with both death and life as possibilities. From “calloused heart” on you make it clear it is as people have left it, first by not listening in community, then by closed doors and institutionalized indifference. It is a dirge at a funeral and a sermon on a mount, tinged with sadness and yet suggesting a cure.

  8. Excellent rendering of the form, Miriam. And, of course, choosing Frost was an excellent inspirations. I found you very skillfully wove the rhyming in and your use of repetition worked really well. Just heard a lecture on Calvino’s novella “Invisible City.” This poem brought that to mind for me.

  9. Such an inspired choice from Frost’s works as a cabeza, and you made amazing use of it – extending his thought into something more than the original conception, an ode to a dying town. And you went further than required here, using other poetic devices – the reptitions in the first lines, the onomatopaeia (trick, trick, trickle) – all these and the seamless weaving of Frost’s lines with your own, these manage to convey the sadness of such decay. Beautiful, melancholic, effective.

    • Samuel, I am speechless. Thank you for your wonderful comment – it means a lot to hear such wonderful words from such a great poet. Thanks again for the challenge – I always enjoy you hosting at dVerse.

  10. Oh, a dying town is such a sad thing and your glosa took me right into the heart of the decline. I imagined myself sitting on the bench in your header image, just on the outskirts of town, as I noted the changing skyline. In the small town where I have lived for decades the tallest structure was the huge grain elevator attached to the farm store. The skyline was so strange after they tore it down to build a nice new store. So, your poem set me to dreaming, as it was so beautiful.

  11. Pingback: Fourth Attempt At Circus Imagery | The Weltschmerz Collection

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