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

Saturday, March 13, 2010


(Escape From Disaster)

The storms that move us move in fast
From wild-way waters formed in waves
That blast the shore to rags,
Rush in from oceans wracked with ruin and rage,
Where winds are born and Gods die torn,

Building all at once from vague
Small hummings in our heads to a
Dynamo of numbing sound aswirl
Around our horses’ tossing heads,

Moving the quiet to desperation
And the sullen to feelings of dread.

Do you not feel it coming, moving from
The east, the southeast, and southwest?
Moving like a mountain to the prophet,
A mountain all of air all aswirl?

Here it comes, it’s coming, blowing
The spray from sea to shore to sea again,
Raging and heaving and twisting
The rail and the house and the town.

All: all about will be wrested out from
The root and the base and the ground;
All: all will be sighing for the wreck
To be wreaked on the land.

Now hear how the horses are breathing,
Feel how they’re missing the beat;
It’s time to be turning and going,
Down through the churchyard and street.

Fly past the doctors, the lawyers, the hearse,
Run down the children who cling to their nurse,
Trample the clerics who cry, but cry too late,
Who look above and ask for what He waits—

But the wind all awhirl
Whips their cassocks in their faces,
The whip of the wind in its swirl
Tears the fabrics from their laces,

And we are up and going, we are up and gone,
We ride them down like cattle and in a moment
We are gone, out through the gates at morning,
Out through the gates at dawn.

On to the castle, the castle!
On to the dark inland keep!
Out of the sweep of the carnage,
Out from the harbor to nightfall,
Nine fell men hard-ride.

We come to the drawbridge and cross it,
But the door is closed and held;
Twelve men are felled before us
As the storm comes up from behind.

Put seven horses in stable,
Give seven horses their hay;
Two fell in the blood-spray of battle,
But these must have their hay.

Set seven places at table,
Give seven men their feast;
Two fell in the doorway behind us,
Trod down by the fall of their beasts.

“Drink! Come drink, my fellows,
and quarrel no more till the morrow—“
but quarrel is the watchword
this night of souls at sorrow.

Now five lie dead upon the floor,
That hurt nor wound will take no more
(their fathers’ ghosts soft-sighing,
hard hearts unlearned, still vying).

“Fight no more,” the last man with me cries,
“Rise up and heed the air!
What makes this aimless din a-ringing
Atop the spiral stair?”

Now up, now up, and

Here we stand on the pinnacle,
Here we stand by the bell,
Gazing from the wind-torn top of the spire
To the eye of the whirl of the storm…

And here it comes, it’s coming!
Shaking the basement and casements and stair—
God’s fist of air hard shakes us,
Foundations shift and forsake us.

Go back down, go quickly,
Take the stairway now in haste!
The smooth-stoned steps of our fathers
Are trembling and quaking in place.

Oh, hurry now, I beg you,
I dread the wresting hand;
The sound of our Father’s strength in fury
Is both wreck and wreak of the ruin of the land.

Quick, make way, I tell you!
I tell you, save yourself!
Christ, give way, move quickly!
I’ll trample your breath to blood-spray,
I mean to save myself!

Dear God, we’re on the ground,
Dear God, we do believe!
But now I look around me,
I’m the only one around.

The dust, the dust is risen from
The bell-wrung riven tower lying all aruin all around;
All mixed with rain and blood in spatters
As I bend alone in horror before the power and the sound.

I cannot see or hear or feel,
For the earth is hung in dimness,
And my lungs are filled with mud and gore,
And the air I breathe’s a whirlwind
Blowing the blood-spray through me in a roar
From shore to sea to shore.

All: all about is wrested out from
The root and the base and the ground.
All: all is sighing for the wreck
That is wreaked on the land.


3rd draft: 3/13/2010
2nd draft: 2/25/2003 7:17 PM
©1981 Ronald C. Southern

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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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