"But first, baby, as you climb and count the stairs (and they total the same), did you, sometime or somewhere, have a different idea?
Is this, baby, what you were born to feel, and do, and be?"

-Kenneth Fearing

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Mourning the Old Ways


The insolence of the mockingbird

calls the sun

to rising

with one sour note

of greeting.

Hills made of purple and red

stretch without limit-

not a hint of ending.

“Awful things were born here,”

their majesty whispers,

“and giants risen up

from the soil.”

Their voices filled the country.

Their afternoon songs

filled the spans between vistas

with intoxicating syrup.

Their instruments pulled notes

from the air for the earth.

The wolf returns home

for the plains’ ample

feast; colors of sky

and earth and water,

digests the splendor,

gives back

a low howling.

They are gone,

no music

falters in agony

falls on red hills

Only a sharp lament;

“the day is over,”

then the silence.


                           -Brent Allard

previously published in Sahara


  1. This makes me want to squeeeeze all the paint onto a canvas and smear it around til all the white is gone.

  2. Thanks Bec! I'd love to see what you end up with!

  3. Stunning. And this line: “Awful things were born here,” just got me.

  4. Thanks Emm! Glad that caught you. The past is often presented as a golden era of all good, but I can't believe that's true. Our ancestors tell us as much!