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

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Dear Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

Was Emily an ugly girl or did she have bad skin?
Was she flat instead of curved? Was she far too slim?
Were there too many splendid belles come out
Those cold New England antebellum years
And she remained—because a little plain?
It makes me sick that tough-sweet spirit had to grope among
Such stiff-necked pious dullards for fifty-six notched years.

Did she fail to learn the dance? Did she make the boys feel dim?
Did she love—just once—too much, then not again—
Or did she always love exactly what she loved—
But in her dreams and books?
Why couldn't she be happy? Why couldn't she be wed?
Why does her photo draw me in as if I think that
Somewhere she's alive and I should hurry up and write
And tell her—I'm sorry, I'm so sorry, I wasn't there for you!

Dear Emily, my dear—maybe I'm just sleepy this Monday 2 A.M.
Maybe I've gone crazy that I would weep for you.
You've been dead—though you live here still—
More than a hundred years
And I've only been about half-here for this tired fifty-two.
I'm near the age now when you died and I must say I've felt
That treadmill in my brain, that maelstrom in my dreams,
And wonder which did you—
Did you fail to cling or did you just let go?


8th draft: 02/21/03
©2000 Ronald C. Southern

Another photo purported to be Emily.

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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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