Bob Dylan, born May 24 1941


 


Oh, where have you been, my blue-eyed son?
Oh, where have you been, my darling young one?
I've stumbled on the side of twelve misty mountains
I've walked and I've crawled on six crooked highways
I've stepped in the middle of seven sad forests
I've been out in front of a dozen dead oceans
I've been ten thousand miles in the mouth of a graveyard
And it's a hard, and it's a hard, it's a hard, and it's a hard
And it's a hard rain's a-gonna fall

Oh, what did you see, my blue-eyed son?
Oh, what did you see, my darling young one?
I saw a newborn baby with wild wolves all around it
I saw a highway of diamonds with nobody on it
I saw a black branch with blood that kept drippin'
I saw a room full of men with their hammers a-bleedin'
I saw a white ladder all covered with water
I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken
I saw guns and sharp swords in the hands of young children
And it's a hard, and it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard
And it's a hard rain's a-gonna fall

And what did you hear, my blue-eyed son?
And what did you hear, my darling young one?
I heard the sound of a thunder, it roared out a warnin'
Heard the roar of a wave that could drown the whole world
Heard one person starve, I heard many people laughin'
Heard the song of a poet who died in the gutter
Heard the sound of a clown who cried in the alley
And it's a hard, and it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard
And it's a hard rain's a-gonna fall

Oh, who did you meet, my blue-eyed son?
Who did you meet, my darling young one?
I met a young child beside a dead pony
I met a white man who walked a black dog
I met a young woman whose body was burning
I met a young girl, she gave me a rainbow
I met one man who was wounded in love
I met another man who was wounded with hatred
And it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard
It's a hard rain's a-gonna fall

Oh, what'll you do now, my blue-eyed son?
Oh, what'll you do now, my darling young one?
I'm a-goin' back out 'fore the rain starts a-fallin'
I'll walk to the depths of the deepest black forest
Where the people are many and their hands are all empty
Where the pellets of poison are flooding their waters
Where the home in the valley meets the damp dirty prison
Where the executioner's face is always well-hidden
Where hunger is ugly, where souls are forgotten
Where black is the color, where none is the number
And I'll tell it and think it and speak it and breathe it
And reflect it from the mountain so all souls can see it
Then I'll stand on the ocean until I start sinkin'
But I'll know my song well before I start singin'
And it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard
It's a hard rain's a-gonna fall



video: Dylan, 1964

"HUMBLE MYSELF TO BE ONE WITH THE SOULS" - Sam Sutlive

 
 
"HUMBLE MYSELF TO BE ONE WITH THE SOULS" - Sam Sutlive


Bow down before me
I will become one with your soul
One with the people
I will humble myself
Live off the Earth
Dance in the moon light
and feed the children.
 
I will humble myself to become one with you
To be loud and unique amongst my fellow humans
To be one with one and
everyone around me till I disappear into sameness into every other fellow citizen.

I will humble MYSELF
Bowing down to MY people
Becoming one with THE souls
Becoming one with THE people
 
I will humble myself
Dirtying my hands to feed myself
Tightening my muscles to sweat and toil to feed fellow citizens
 
I will humble myself-
Days gone
Towering over
Commanding
To truly see
The only reward-
End of the day as
Real
Sweaty
Work Fulfilled
Bone Tired.

"News item (from a great height, April 21, 2010)" - M Bromberg


"The ingrate Mark Twain, enjoying the incredible technology
that God allowed Tesla, an anti-social narcissist, to create."
 (photo and caption courtesy Vain Twain)


"News item (from a great height, April 21, 2010)"
M Bromberg 

After he was described in the Atlantic Monthly as "Mark Twain, originally of Missouri, but then of Hartford, and now ultimately of the solar system, not to say the universe ... " he took pleasure in thinking of his name floating somewhere among distant planets.
 
 
 
Your correspondent here reports
that Sam Clemens has laid aside his pen.
Having once arrived on Mr. Halley's comet,
the author has it by the tail again.
 
His surprise at this astounding feat
can not be overstated in the least;
he was quite prepared to make the journey --
but not so much deceased.
 
Mr. Clemens tells us he is
luckily unafraid of heights,
and daily enjoys St. Peter's good cigars;
until some wires can be arranged,
he sends regrets that telegrams
will be less frequent from these stars.
 
The author is off
in search of a dark saloon.
Until then, I remain
your reporter and most far-flung correspondent,
Twain.

Clemens was a writer as concerned with crafting his legacy as any novel he ever wrote, and his instructions to publish the full Autobiography one hundred years after his death indicates he certainly meant to have the very last laugh on the Gilded Age. Here is a poem featured last spring on WSKG-FM's Off the Page program website that imagines the author traveling the vast reaches of the Universe -- and sending back a telegram about conditions there.

"Three Cold Beers and One for Me" - Patrick McPhee

 

"Three Cold Beers and One for Me" - Patrick McPhee
 
 

The kitchen windows provide clear view of a local

Ox-bow bend in the North Oconee River.

Disturbances in the calm water are easily seen as ripples

the same concentric circles after a rain drop splash

speeds away in crests and troughs of reflection

sky, tree green, black and sun-bright rings that undulate

away from the anomaly.  This afternoon

ripples made by men are much larger

these anglers who work their way from downstream

slog up the gut of the river in crashing waves that center

on each fisherman, their rhythm with rod and reel

the silver glint of nylon fishing line’s hiss and splash

when the lure settles in a shade-pool under low branches

in full summer leaf, all up and down the river bank.

 

Never saw anyone like these three though—wading and casting

unique for this stretch of river. What the hell!

These guys deserve a reward, three cold beers and one for me!

 

I grabbed four beers from the fridge, put them in a small ice chest

slung it over my shoulder and walked down to the river bank

just upstream of the fisherman, each following one cast with another

as they made their way toward me.

   “Hey! You’re the first wading fishermen I’ve seen along here. There’s been kayaks and canoes, but you’re the first ones standing in the water.”

   “Our dad taught us to fish like this. I’m Ned, by the way. That’s my oldest son Kip. The serious guy over there’s my brother Charley.” Charley looked up.

   “It’s a long time since we been up here. We don’t do much fishin’ anymore.

   “Well, I’ve never seen anybody fish the river like you guys, so I brought ya’ll a reward.”

   “Oh,Yeah! What’s that?”

I reached into the cooler, pulled out a dripping

cold brown bottle and held it up by the neck.

   “How about a ice cold beer with a twist-off cap?”

   “Heck yes!” Charley grinned and waded toward me.

   “How about you guys?”

“Yes sir” Kip said. Ned smiled and nodded “OK”.

Both waded across the river and soon each man in the fishing party

had a bottle in their hand and tossed back their first long swig of ice cold  beer.

   “Seein’ you in the river surprised me. It’s shallower than I thought.”

Ned looked upstream, “The dark river bed makes it look deeper than it is.”

Kip lowered his bottle, “Sure dad, but we had to swim for it downstream.” Kip looked at me.  “We like the sport of fishin’!  We catch ‘em and we let ‘em go.”

 Charley finished his beer. “That’s about it for me.” 

    “Here, I’ll take the empties.” Charley handed over his bottle.

Kip said, “Thank you sir!” He gave me his empty, “Thanks again!”

then Kip and uncle Charley wadded upstream as they cast their lures.

Ned handed me his empty bottle, “Why’d ya bring us the beers?”

   “A reward, like I said”. 

   “We appreciate it.” He nodded and went on his way.

 

I watched the fishermen work through the upper shoals.

White water glistens in the hot afternoon sun and I observe

the last silver glint of fishing line move out of sight

behind an upstream river bend and into the past.

 

“Why’d ya bring us the beers?” Indeed

I am become old and know that today, will one day

be back in the day, when blue sky seemed

bluer, white in the tumultuous froth of August clouds

brighter—a happy, olden-times day

when a stranger would give out ice cold beers

and all would quench a deep thirst

enjoy the company of sportsmen

small talk and banter and place:

a  river scene in a young man’s memory

an old fisherman’s “Tall-Tale”, yet to be told.

"Cinco de Mayo" - Francisco X. Alarcó

 

CINCO DE MAYO
 
by Francisco X. Alarcón
 
 
First of all, Cinco de Mayo
is not the official
Mexican Independence Day,
nor does it commemorate the first
fiesta no matter how convincing
TV commercials might sound —
it’s as unofficial as school
children telling jokes in Spanish
in English-only public schools
 
Cinco de Mayo is a battle fought
in the city of Puebla in 1862:
an outnumbered, outgunned,
ill-trained and very poor
Mexican army under the command
of Ignacio Zaragoza, a general
born in San Antonio, Texas,
defeated the superbly equipped
professional French army sent
by Napoleon III —  Cinco de Mayo
became a rally of hope for a nation
 
Cinco de Mayo is a milagrito
que nunca debió pasar pero pasó:
it’s the full-blooded Zapotec
Indian President Benito Juárez
humming: “Sí se puede”
in his forced journeys
zigzagging the Republic —
Ciudad Juárez is named
after this Mexican hero
who never gave up despite
facing superior enemy forces
 
Cinco de Mayo is primavera,
the bluest of skies y se siente alegría
y ya casi salimos de vacaciones.
 
Cinco de Mayo is a cry
that starts in the heart,
a drum that keeps calling:
Juan, María, José acuérdense —
it’s Cinco de Mayo
and like any other day:
el Chuy sigue preso
y el Joe is unemployed
y Rosa is a teenager
three months pregnant,
all confused, lost at school,
and without legal papers
 
Cinco de Mayo was used
once as a legal deadline
intended to close the doors
to thousands who have come
to this country searching
for a dream, a better deal,
a chance to live: who then 
will be the ones to harvest
the vegetables for your salads?
who will make your hotel bed?
who will do the dishes and scrub
the floors in the restaurants?
 
Cinco de Mayo is community,
familia, a ritual for life,
a collective kiss en la frente,
a rainbow, una empanada,
una canción, un baile, una mirada
 
Cinco de Mayo is now a rally
for protecting our civil rights
against “reasonable suspicion”
of the mean-spirited, xenephobic
and racist law SB 1070 in Arizona
 
Cinco of Mayo is a brown David
facing a menacing state Goliath
singing under the Arizona clouds:
“sí, se puede”, “yes, we can do it…”
 
Cinco de Mayo is a flower watered
by our people's tears of pain and joy:
Cinco de Mayo is each and other day,
a lesson of resistance in a era of defeat
 


A prolific writer for adults and children, Francisco X. Alarcón (1954-2016) was born in California and grew up in Guadalajara, Mexico. Alarcón returned to the United States to attend California State University at Long Beach, and he earned his MA from Stanford University. His collections of poetry for adults include Body in Flames/Cuerpo en llamas (1990); De amor oscuro/Of Dark Love (1991); Snake Poems: An Aztec Invocation (1992), winner of the American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation; From the Other Side of Night/Del otro lado de la noche: New and Selected Poems (2002); Ce Uno One: Poemas para el Nuevo Sol/Poems for the New Sun (2010); Borderless Butterflies: Earth Haikus and Other Poems/Mariposas sin fronteras: Haikus terrenales y otros poemas (2014); and Canto hondo/Deep Song (2015). 

"Jesus at the Globe Tavern" - Eugene C. Bianchi


"Jesus at the Globe Tavern" - Eugene C. Bianchi



 Could it be him playing with gusto

 in a circle of Irish musicians

 doing their gig by the corner window?

 

 I watch fascinated until he

 tucks the fiddle under an arm,

 rises and walks toward me.

 

 “Jesus Christ! Can that be you?”

 He hesitates. “Yes, we met near the Vatican

 a few years ago at the Bar Blu.”

 

 He joins me for brown ale to say

 how close Holy Week is

 this year to St. Patrick’s Day.

 

 “Ah, Friend, with all the child abuse,

 a dark time for Ireland’s church—

 plus Mid-East violence on the loose.”

 

 “Yes, Master, I see the tragic connection,

 yet what about Easter,

 any hope in the Resurrection?

 

 “Well, religions reveled in mythic theology

 when folk were ignorant of evolution

 and turned imagination into history.”

 

 “Yet, Master Jesus, so much sin and separation,

 how do we reconnect with salvation?”

 He leans back, sips his beer,

 

 and points toward the street. “See that homeless person

 with her worldly possessions in a shopping cart?

 Let’s bring her warm nachos and a fiddled chanson.”
 
 
Gene Bianchi is tonight's featured reader at Word of Mouth open mic. Sign up is at 7 pm at the bar and reading begins at 8 pm upstairs at the Globe. [Photo of Gene and cat Max by David Noah]