There were days that even Judy had the Blues.
But there are days when all lost souls do...

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Song For George (Hard, Not Easy)



"Who can I love?" he sang.
He sang it soft and long.
"Too many wives and lovers are already lost—
Dear God, who can count the hurt, the cost?"
It was his soft and steady song,
But it was hard, not easy.

Who can I love
When time is hard and I am harder
And nothing's ever kind—
Or do I simply mean, however wrong,
That now I find at long, long last that
Nothing's ever been so kind to me as you
Except the one who's dead?

I'm not so bad,
I always like to think.
So why can't I be kind,
Or kinder, or be perceived as such,
Convey myself as such,
Be someone soft to touch, but still a man
And one who's hard to know that much.

You're a woman fit to love, I see.
Dear Polly, who wouldn't want to love
A woman so deserving all
That to resist you would be another Fall,
Or legally Insane, or just a pain—
Still, not easy, these clumsy ballets of love!

Why can't I be true in kind to you
And love you well or myself at bay
Or all these raucous friends of mine
Or all these blinded wounded kin—
Every one so needful or hormone-driven!
Why can't I lead my newly-bearded son
To be less horrible than myself and love me
As even I deserve? Dear God, is it too late for love?

Oh be a little kind, or kinder, ageing heart—
Whatever comes, I cannot help but think
That something soft behind the mask
Might yet be brought to bear upon this task
But you know how men just never dare to ask,
And it's still hard, not easy…

rcs.

10th draft: 05/26/04
©2001 Ronald C. Southern


Sunday, May 23, 2004

Earnur's Lament


Those who broke into the tomb
Were first and those who did
Not choose to look were wise.

"Oh darling,"
Then the walls begin to sigh,
"Oh, darling,
If we push a little further,
We may die…"

Such sounds that float upon the breezes
Slip softly past the outer shell.

Inside the tower high above
Along the winding stair
Our cruelty ascends;

Oh hear the voice
Oh hear the voice
And turn aside from where
The bodies of the dead attend.

Here seven jaded ladies knelt
To rearrange their face;
Here seven savage widows stood to draw
The line and mark the place.

In this perfect solitary room the dying
King reflects upon imaginary wounds.

The shadow of a fated king
Cast up against imaginary walls,
Cut down, cut down to living size,

The darkness in the faded heart
Of reason bound on every side,
The image of a skull in dreams
As seen through dreamer's eyes.

Now men with pale gray eyes
Complain they cannot breathe
And ghostly feminine faces
Promenade around the tomb.

Cold hands of age complain against the years
And with both sword and knife
Strike out at spider's threads

And hands of grace immersed in tears
Reach out, reach out
To light the candle long unfound—
Yes, here, here beside the bed.

Now all these phantom figures moving in the gloom
The dying king reflects upon,
Until he takes his bed of death, reclines at last
And gasps, without a mask, without a sword or mask…


rcs.

Current draft: 05/05/04
©1972 Ronald C. Southern



Footnote: Earnur -- A passing historical reference from J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Lord of The Rings" trilogy. "The Silmarillion" tells more about him, how Earnur, the last king of Gondor, rode alone to the gates of Minas Morgul to meet the Morgul-lord in single combat. "Betrayed by the Nazg├╗l, he was taken alive into the city of torment and no living man saw him ever again." Hereditary Stewards then reigned for many generations until the downfall of Sauron, brought about by the destruction of the One Ring and the return of the King.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Didactic In November


Great heart, this flower, has closed;
Has sought, and lost, and chose.
Your touch, your tongue, your heat—fair game,
I deem, for all but me on this predacious street.

Live hard, live long, live gay;
Let the love that you feel lead the way.
My love is caught and held and flung
Like leaves the careless wind has blown
Out where the dead make speech that needs no tongue.

My friend, this power has flown;
Has sought, and found, and known.
Your cry, bold heart, still sings a song of the sea
That flows, Oh! But listen: nothing flows through me.

Love's hard, love's long, love's frayed;
What life will surrender, death takes away.
My life is done and spent and spun
Like dust some careless child has flung
Out where the dead make speech that speaks to none.

rcs.

4th draft: 04/28/04
©1979 Ronald C. Southern

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

The Absence Of A Kiss



In the absence of any kiss is found
A moment that jerks you into stillness,
Breathless stillness, a stillness
That no lonely heart can take,
No guileful word express,
No seeing eye dismiss.

In the absence of a kiss we find
A mindful means to madness as a jest,
The senseless touch of kindness and its death,
The cutting edge of reason without life
Where the silent knife impales itself upon itself

And none here know the reason for,
The beauty of, the distance from
That proffered gift, that lost-in-sift,
The poised and awkward promise of a kiss.


rcs.

3rd draft: 02/10/03
©1972 Ronald C. Southern


Tuesday, May 04, 2004

The Seduction



your hand that rests beside you
while you sit taps out a silent
beat; this pulse behind my ear
begins to imitate that beat.

"Are we conversant drums," I wonder,
and rest one hand on your knee,
draw up your skirt with the other.

"I am too cold to be so warm,"
is what you say, but I know
what that means; my hand between
your legs, I smile and say,

"How lovely you are; a beauty
that would suit any taste..."


rcs.

4th draft: 08/26/01
©1979 Ronald C. Southern


Monday, May 03, 2004

Snake-Bit



One of these days down the road, you’ll see,
Before life ends, it’ll happen,
You’ll be snake-bit or dog-bit or develop a limp
Or mistakenly kiss Michael Jackson’s chimp
Or breed carcinomas under your pits till you ache.

Maybe you’ll hit that next sharp corner
Clutching a cell-phone and a map and you’ll crash
And the semi behind you will crawl up your ass
And your floorboarded feet and all your false teeth
Will fall through the cracks deadly fast,
Leaving that jaunty $4 hat you wear juicy, frayed, and flat.

Or maybe you’ll thoughtlessly open
That creaky front door at home one night
And stumble willy-nilly across some burglar at work
Who didn’t expect you, either,
And the adrenalin will rise to a roar.

Maybe you’ll just be scared or maybe get
Your skull crushed and your eggs reduced to mush—
A thick or thin pink salsa slush
For firemen with rubber-soled feet
To hose off the graveled street.

Just wait, you’ll see…


rcs.

7th draft: 05/03/04
©2003 Ronald C. Southern


Sunday, May 02, 2004

Greenhouse



This older woman likes it, he thought,
Being pawed aggressively like this,
Her back rubbing sensuously
Against the yielding plastic greenhouse wall,
her skirt clutched tightly in one hand,
Her half-seen face gaily grimacing
While she held him to her tightly in the dark.

It was better than she'd ever imagined, he imagined.
Not bad for him, either—he’d never felt better,
Though they’d just now met at the party.
Whatever was true, whatever was false,
The tall woman leaned back on the greenhouse wall
And spread her arms wide like a crucified bride
And trembled like a girl
With the younger man's face on her thighs.


rcs.

4th draft: 05/02/04
©1975 Ronald C. Southern


Saturday, May 01, 2004

Reborn Again



Such heat in the street each evening:
Night’s fall finds the fault in all;
The waste that wore the heart to hardness
Lives in each of us, dies not with the dying Fall.

If time and tongue and tireless feet
Are finally spent from toiling in the dark,
Then through this rent that hope has made,
Shall not judgment pass and forever fade away?

What fanned hell's fire to fury burned bright
In the living flesh, but gave no light to see;
Yet all disheartened hearts must wonder: how
Through this foggy night will break the dawn of day?

These wrongs at the heart of darkness
Made waste in the veins of men; if lust
For love long sought is lost now, then why
This heart so bursting, expectant even now?

What anguish and what joy! The time arrives,
The time departs too soon; blessed be
Pleasure’s pain and pain's delight, for by
These wounds the world and we are wrought!

Men's tempers set the stride,
Make all the measures one of pride—
But pleasure's pain and pain's delight
Care not for pride, but right.

What's wrong with this teething terror makes war
In the souls of men; if pride-of-strength's
The measure now of love long lost, long sought,
Then how this heart so bursting, so buoyant even now?

What fanned hell's fire to fury filled full
Conceited flesh, but starved the frantic heart;
Now in such need of touch we wonder:
Can day that breaks so hard and fast succeed?

If time and tongue and nameless fears
At last are washed away by tears,
Then from this heart of hope and doubt
Shall not judgment be cast out?

Dead heat in the street this evening:
His Fall cries the crime in all;
The haste that bore the Christ to harness
Lives in each of us, dies not with the dying call.


rcs.

8th draft: 08/12/01
©1979 Ronald C. Southern


Freud Me!



Pig me, poig me,
Sigmund Freud me!

The First Foolish Thing



The first foolish thing that I do every day
Is to crawl out of bed to the chair.

Judy Garland's Blues


Why was Judy Garland sad?
Did she have everything—but not love?
What drove Judy Garland mad,
Or do I give her too much credit?

Was she just privately unlucky, after all the public luck?
Did she have two armfuls of nothing in the worn valises
She dragged into another mansion of expenses, pills, and airs
Amid lost things never declared, forever beyond her reach?

Did she have everything—but not love?
Was she too often left behind as a child
Or was she poisoned in the vein
As by too many drinks or a rattlesnake...

Twisted by some familial demon spirit she became
That Voodoo spirit, the reel and spin, the deadly living blues,
Forever frightened—no matter her age or image or magic—
Of what to choose and what to lose, out of control to the end?

Did she, like you, like me, have everything—
But could not feel the love that others gave
Or stay as brave as needed every moment?

rcs.

Current draft: 4/12/2010
3rd draft: 04/26/05
©2004 Ronald C. Southern br/>
[This is a separate and different title from the blog title.]

Colorful Judy

The Creature


Ron Southern,
Chigger, Texas, USA

Personal Labels:

Clean and easy-going. Dirty-minded, paranoic, catatonic, droll, drastic, dramatic, savage, uptight, dribbling, abstruse, and timid.

Not to even mention artful, artistic, abusive, misleading, abrasive, manipulative, dodgy, sneaky, and totally unforgiving!

How about poetic, pansified, petty, pornographic, always preening, and a little peculiar about what feels good!

The Poem With The Similar Title

©Ronald C. Southern

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