Wednesday, May 11, 2022

A Far Cry from Innisfree

Weary of the coal-fired gridlock of cityscape,
my mind balks at subway token hustle and jive,
wheels on steel below obsidian ground
and the hard-shoe pavement slap of nine-to-five.
Hours of jet lag burn the brain,
and the blare of taxi horns, like a pinball,
bounces from bone to bone, pain to pain.
The surgical steal of a skyscraper pierces the sky
and bleeds the unsullied thought trying to rise.
Lumbering buses and commuter trains
rock hope and desire to an early grave
while impaling musical notes, once so pure,
hanging on the troubadour’s clef and stave.
The button-down guru chants his spreadsheet mantras,
a gong opening and closing the wailing of Wall Street,
the moneychanger’s table still not overturned.
But I too will arise and go now,
forsaking the usual metropolitan beat,
and find the wood-pure cabin in the trees,
the peace that comes dropping slow.
I shall sift the softened boughs of pine
before striking creative flint and stone,
before drinking the hamadryad’s sacred wine.
Then will I write and paint the natural colors of thought
and sing a song to the silvered lawn, the ring-neck loon,
courtesy of crickets and the mystical midnight moon.

~William Hammett

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