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      Younger readers may not remember the run-up to the Iraq war. It was a full court push, with constant lies about Iraq “weapons of mass destruction” and how Iraq was a threat to America. The media went along with it, with almost no exceptions, and those exceptions paid the price: they were fired or demoted or, at best, their careers stalled. Fred Hiatt, the Wa […]
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A new Poet Laureate Nominated

A few months ago, I was honored when Riverdaughter named me poet laureate at the Confluence. To that honor I did not cling jealously, perhaps because I never expected to relinquish it– well, until tonight.

It seems we have a new Poet at the Confluence– our very own Swanspirit. I don’t know if she will be the new poet laureate, but if it were based on pure poetic intuition, she should be. Having seen her work, this writer is beginning to feel a bit analogous to Elton John in Pinball Wizard:

“I thought I was the bally table king
But I just handed my pinball crown to him… to him… to hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiim.”

(Pinball sound effects).

Swan wanted me to add that we collaborated on the structure for this– but it is her work.

We speak the truth, but not “directly”
We spill our guts, but circumspectly.
Our tales to velvet underground
We tell, and hope the muffled sound
They hear. What is the danger, what are the fears
causing “outback in the shanty tears”?

Some things can’t be spoken aloud
Might alert the unawakened crowd?
Something happening here,
Cant say just yet, have but a moment’s care
In places intimate we softly share
Wearing hobos’ faces.

I hate it when illusions turn to dust
And buckets weep to see the shining armour rust.
I wanted it so badly to be what I had hoped
Sometimes these rapids in the flow
Are sharp ends on which our dreams are torn
Our ancient mothers know.

Of all the death throes
Most cherished are the dreams we chose
More dearly held, hardest to let go
Like a lover or friend
whom we no longer know.

I do not drink and do not smoke
But hand me a glass and give me a toke
Too hard’s this loneliness to bear
Without my friends my tears to share
The sun’s gone out on another day
I need my friends to help me find my way.

I would to scream ’till voice be hollow
Dance and stomp and weep and wallow
So tho I neither drink nor smoke
Hand me a glass and give me a toke
And truth do tell, tell in safe places
Tell it wearing hobos’ faces.

22 Responses

  1. I don’t want to interfere with music or anything, but in honor of Swanspirit I would be grateful if this thread remained
    as the overnight open thread.

  2. OH MY Goddess
    I am so flattered !! A REAL poet likes my work Thank you so very much John !!! You have to remain POET LAUREATE I would be very upset if you were not .

    Thank you again so very much 🙂 woohoo

    Love and hugs

  3. Posted on the last thread — I’m going to bed — Good night all & be good, ’cause Santa Claus is coming to town. 🙂

  4. swanspirit, “wearing hobos’ faces” is one of several lines that resonated.

    Poetry, for a plebian such as me, is that which I read multiple times because of its connection to humankind.

    Poetry brings comfort and enlightenment. Your poem delivers all that and more.

    Thank you.

  5. Swan, if I may say so– the impression I get from this, in one respect, is not unlike what I get from Edgar Allen Poe’s El Dorado— I don’t entirely understand it; I just know it’s beautiful.

    Do tell, when you come back, what you meant by the metaphor of hobos’ faces, and, without putting anyone else in a bad light, what moved you to write. Won’t you?

  6. PS Elton John did a cover of Roger Daltry’s vocals.

    I still prefer Daltry’s version. 🙂

  7. Poetry. . . very cool.

    My neighbor is a poet laureate. He cracks me up!

  8. I love your poetry.

  9. Lovely. I understand your feelings Swan. Thanks for the wonderful poem.

  10. hobos faces … we were hobos , lacking resources not knowing where we were going , but we couldn’t stay where we were… we had to move on …. and hobos ; no one cares who a hobo is ; when you are speaking secrets , best to be an unknown wanderer
    and El Dorade is a beautiful poem … Poe is so far out of my league , he is one of my idols … he and Emily 🙂

  11. “Sometimes these rapids in the flow
    Are sharp ends on which our dreams are torn
    Our ancient mothers know.”

    That’s a poem within a poem. Beautiful job. Thanks swanspirit.

  12. Beautiful poem, swannie. Both versions are nice, but I reread the original and I like that one better.

  13. This site just gets better and better.

  14. I saw some comments deleted. Was that the fine hand of myiq2xu? It’s okay for you to get some sleep, man– from one insomniac cordially to another.


  15. I usually lurk, but I gotta say, that’s a great poem. We have two very talented poets here!

  16. From Hillaryis44, a fine analysis on why Caroline Kennedy won’t get Hillary’s seat.


  17. My response to you there, edge: the new Obama team memo: BIOB (Blame it on Bill).

  18. Thank you all so much for your comments … 🙂 You are all so sweet, and every day . I am here I am more grateful .

  19. WOW! Love it.

  20. That is beautiful.

  21. “TheyreAllCrooks” said earlier that

    “Pete Townsend of the Who wrote Pinball Wizard.”

    Fell into moderation and I don’t know how to get those out, even if I hit “approve.”

    To be candid, I always much preferred the Elton John version of the song.

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