Friday, December 25, 2009

JOHNNY THE WALKER




RWP#106...prompt was "repeating or repeat"...sitting here in the Rockies...cold...but in brilliant sunshine..foot of snow on the ground with birds at the feeder...wood stove keeping us warm before going for some snow shoeing....after talking to family.....I REFLECT...REFLECT on some of our lovely people who live on the streets...trying to keep warm..and having supper at some soup kitchen....my thoughts and love are with them...and HAPPY HOLIDAYS to all of the poets on the street and ALL OF YOU.....CHEERS...my poem is






JOHNNY THE WALKER.






I called him Johnny the walker
where the street was his home
the original dharma bum
lost
in his only words of
hello sir
I don't know her
the beat goes on
the poem he started
at Desolation Peak
in Kerouac's Cascades cabin
one hundred days of writing poetry
like Kerouac
the beat goes on
with the foggy days of a mad writer
high in the Cascade mountain wildernes
in the howling winds of Diablo Lake
tormenting his soul
too mad to live
too mad to be saved
too mad to talk
the beat goes on
writing about everything
saying nothing
all at once
exploding like snakes across the sky
as the world yawns
as the candles
burn
burn
burn
Johnny walked all the way to Canada
writing his poem
with his toque on his head
bundle on his back
now homeless at christmas
on Hastings street
hark hark the angels bark
as they pass by him
to some sweet shop
in the red horizon desert
not looking for books of poetry
but books on vacations
yoga
budhhism and self defence
as the beat goes on
for Johnny the walker it's only
hello sir
I don't know her
the beat goes on
lost
in his only words
harking at the barking angels
as they pass by him.








10 comments:

Paul Oakley said...

Wonderful Beat fusion of nursery rhyme (Hark, hark, the dogs do bark, the beggars are coming to town...) and carol (Hark the herald angels sing...).

I particularly am taken with this use of repetition:

too mad to live
too mad to be saved
too mad to talk
the beat goes on


Loved your poem, Wayne, as always!

Jeeves said...

Enjoyed the rhythm

Francis Scudellari said...

I love how you capture the true spirit of the holiday, drawing our eyes to those the barking angels pass by too easily. I especially like this passage:

exploding like snakes across the sky
as the world yawns
as the candles
burn
burn
burn

Happy Holidays!

anthonynorth said...

It is good we remember such people. Nicely done.

davidmoolten said...

Wayne,

I like the ironies in this, in the title, and its allusions to "Johnny Walker" whiskey and to Johnny Appleseed, two opposite personas for the protean hobo. And also in the way people like this are disregarded by "tradition" in a way they shouldn't be--there's a push for inclusiveness that carries over into art as well.

bearlyaudible said...

Yes, very nice cadence to this poem's voice Wayne. One can feel the footsteps here, the road beneath. A mystery of sorts remains, yet is content to be that way. Nicely sung!

Tumblewords: said...

So well captured, both the imagery and the beat. It's a lovely piece, with depth that reaches.

Cynthia Short said...

Very deftly realized, Wayne. Several thoughts really popped out at me, especially the snakes in the sky and the angels barking...

Jenn Jilks said...

Beautiful poem. Great shot.
I have been having a tough time coping with the reality of one of our Meals on Wheels clients. Perhaps i need to write a poem to get it all out.

Irene said...

The beat of heart taps strongly here. The picture kinda fixated me. I love how you pay attention to the homeless Wayne.