Wednesday, February 28, 2007

A Jeremiah

[Once upon a time there was a man who saw his culture going to hell in a hand basket. He wrote a long poem about it. His name was...Jeremiah]

I wrote a poem when I was sixteen years old, about The City, windows empty gazing over the destruction of the Bombs.

Twenty years later, while I was down with the flu, it came back
as this lament, which is the reason for the title.

The melody is reminiscent of Northfield. The next to the last verse is from
Birmingham Sunday, but that verse came from an even older
English song, the title of which I have forgotten.

Come, gather 'round friends and hear my lament!
That which I love is covered with cement!
I could use an image that was obscene
To describe that grey visage of monumental dreams!

But, why should I care to vent my mad spleen?
When I know someday there grass will grow green!
The towers of steel, glass and concrete,
Will be smashed until they are level with the street!

By the strong, slow rush of roots and green limbs,
Her bones will be crushed and cleansed of all sin!
Dear City I hate! Dear City I love!
I speak not of fate or of judgement above!

Give back the souls and give back the gold!
Give it all back! that which you stole!
Perhaps it shall be there'll be mercy and more,
When the Sword is sheathed after all of these wars!

But, keep up those spells and making those passes,
And your corpse wil be a hell of p o l l u t e d ashes!
Give back the souls and give back the gold!
Give it all back that which you stole!

The men in the forest once asked of me:
How many flowers grow in the salt sea?
I answered right back with a tear in my eye:
How many dark ships in the forest?

The men in the twililght they have asked me twice:
How many flowers grow in the pure light?
And I answer right back with a pain in my heart:
How big are the sharks that swim in the dark?
I thought I had posted this before, but I can't find it with the search function on blogger, sooo, I thought it would be appropiate after y'day's post "A Million Jeremiahs" to put this one up. It's a rather powerful song.

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