"Brain, shake out thy water, dog-like." -- Ron Padgett

Thursday, September 26, 2013

What can poems do? David W. McFadden: In Honour of the Woody Guthrie Memorial

Two Poems by David W. McFadden
A discussion of these poems plus two others can be found at my blog at serif of nottingblog.


Jan 20/68

At this moment in Viet Nam
as I write this the clear moon I imagine
shines down on one peaceful scene.
It’s night and the village sleeps.
Everything is quiet as the universe.
The moonlight lies everywhere
illuminating chance corners.

There was about to be an attack
but I’ve deflected it with this poem.


A woman is reading a book called Love’s Golden Splendor
on the bus heading down to Pape station
and I look out the window and see a young man
pushing an old lady in a wheelchair, quickly,
for it is about to start raining.
Later, on the subway, there’s another woman
reading Love’s Golden Splendor, and a young
African woman, fashionably dressed, sits by herself
unself-consciously singing Billie Holiday songs.

My verses are subtle yet unschooled, amateur but never
didactic. The twentieth century means nothing to me.
This could be ninth-century China for all I care.
Everything is a myth. I’ve wound up all my affairs
and am about to put all my possessions in a boat
and push it out in the bay and sink it. We have never
taken a step out of eternity. I think it’s time
for you to come with me. Let’s just go
and let’s not know or even care where we’re going.

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