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

Thursday, February 22, 2007


“You do not suffer close enough,” is what the distant voices said,
“and all your talk of this and more is becoming less and less.
Self-centered though we are at heart, survivors of war and peace,
small shrewdness is required to know the next victim of the feast.

“If you were here or we were there,
your suffering would impact us more, of course,
but that is neither here nor there.
You live at distances both real and surreal--willfully
disconnected, disastrously alone, tragically but safely apart.

“You must, we fear, suffer more or less as we do
or as others who are near and nearer to our hearts.
Justice demands that recognition, yes, but little more,
and less and less of that as these frayed threads
of time and separation gather toward an end.
That some break and others bend seems to surprise you even yet.

“So is that sad? Oh, yes, what else?
We sit in carefully bordered rooms each evening,
pining for what is lost in you and in ourselves,
pitying our surrender to surfeit or starvation,
nestled in exclusive harbors, where some ships leave and some arrive,
in sporadic dread of who goes next. No one wins, but some survive.

“We know you do not suffer gladly
the fools we are and must be to succeed,
but that's the levy, old mariner, of failures of your own,
divergent from ours, not worse perhaps, but dour freight,
resembling more an anchor than anything that floats.

“And you, at your safe distance,
press clamorously a slow cold measure of protest
against the hammer's heated claims upon your heart,
that pulsation of anger, compulsion, and frustration,
a churning churlish stain which makes uncertain
whether you or those you buffet will be next.

Ancient Mariner and wedding guest

“You are one of us still, we know, but what we know
to love in you seems always masked behind that manic stance.
Your decades-long dance of desperation, old mariner,
by now elicits small panic in these ageing wedding guests.

“And is that sad? Well, yes, close enough, but still
you must desist this remorseless clanging in our ears.
We feel as much, if not the same, as you,
marking boundaries as you do, pursuant to our pain.”

4th draft: 08/09/01
©1995 Ronald C. Southern


Maya said...

Heavenly and heavy as an anchor on the ocean floor, all at the same time.

A mariner sure would know.

Ron Southern said...

"A pretty compliment, methinks!" said the mariner.

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?


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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