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Saturday, March 6, 2010

Fast Day 146 March 18 2010 {Hard Times, Come Again No More}

O, Hard Times Come Again No more

hunger no hunger,
thirst me no thirst,
can't eat an' can't drink!
dont know which hurt worst!

been out a money,
I been out a love,
I been out a prison
as free as a dove!

but I fear for what's comin',
I weep for what's gone;
the bank took the house
we lived in so long.

fear, o, fear! ever'where,
and on every side,
an' your white brother famine
a pale horse does ride.

praise me no prayer,
and bend me no bow;
we had us no king,
but fear rules us now!

despair of heaven,
despair of God!
we shall be chastised,
and death holds the rod!

Save us from greed,
save us from lies;
save us from incest
in our siblings' eyes!

We stand in the white tent
that flaps in the dust!
revival we prayed at,
the rot, o, the rust!

speak me no sermon,
wit me no thought!
can't speak and can't think;
can't do what I ought!

Give me a pass, Lord
let me run far!
give me ten dollars
to fill up my car!

drive for the ocean,
drive for the sea;
my wife and my babes
no more will I see.

and when I am distant -
big sleep that I reach'd -
protect my loved ones
this alone I beseech!

Don't write poetry when you're depressed.

Again, I'm trying to get ahead this month. I could schedule them to print, but then I'd have to check, and I really won't have time as the end of the month approaches.



Ruth said...

On the contrary, it's hard to write a poem when I'm not depressed. Are there many good happy poems?

This touches me, especially as I have been looking at Bill Withers for a couple of days - some real blues, but I guess his life has been pretty good. I thought at first that was his picture here.

Montag said...

I don't know. There must be. However, according to last Sunday's NY Times article on Depression, maybe it is more probable that there are downer poems.

I did not know Bill Withers, so I looked him up, and will see later if there is some music of his I can listen to.

The picture was from 1976, and the album was Jamaican, the artist Pluto.

Catherine Jeffrey said...

Have you been listening to the blues, or just feeling the blues? Wow, I can hear this poem accompanied by some lonesome bluesy must become a song! All emotions must come through in poetry....happy, despondent, elated, in love, out of love, in lust, down and out. This one happens to be a little on the down side...and how wonderful it is. As they say, "you can't play the blues in an air conditioned room".

Montag said...

It is indeed "a little on the downside", so much so that I first thought it would be an intolerable imposition on people coming to the blog - one of those experiences where you stop at a blog, only to find something you wish you had not seen.(there is a verse or two which are "dangerous" and perhaps say too much...) I have been living and listening to all the genres of sorrow, and I think the lament "O, Death" by Ralph Stanley got this going.

It's good to hear from you. I have been busy, and forgotten that we have some things to look after. Busy! Really, really busy. And depressed. Don't forget depressed. That just chews up the time.
There. I feel better just joking about it.

Baysage said...

I agree with Ruth. Good happy poems? I cannot call that many to mind anyway. Mine are sometimes silly, but rarely happy.

@Montag: Keep it up, bro. If somebody comes to your blog and doesn't get a shot of cheer, they should be looking for the pink cotton candy blog in the first place.

Montag said...

Just in time, Baysage. I am starting one of my up-cycles.

And, oddly enough, it comes when I finished re-reading The Natural. The ending came as a shock, since I hadn't read it for at least 15 years, but had seen the film version at least 2 times since the intial reading.
The novel has a very tragic ending, and it jarred me considerably. It got me to thinking about the Hero in literature, however, and I went places I had never been before...hope to get it together in an essay...

New things make me feel so free. Our world has become such a Wasteland, filled with sidewalks of broken glass and bridges leading to nowhere....