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!

42 thoughts on “This Town

  1. 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.

    Like

  2. 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.

    Like

  3. 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.

    Like

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