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Bernadette,
surrounded by the late day orange haze
of Soho,
blue girl
lost in the onrush
of a quickly growing evening,
your green eyes are losing their sparkle.

Gentle Bernadette,
aimlessly walking through dismal alleyways,
your thoughts are becoming undone
like your ebony hair.

Lonely Bernadette,
standing on the desolate pitch-tarred roof
among the cold metal telly aerials,
your small sensuous body outlines itself
against the last rays of a cruel sun.

(Her black-on-orange silhouette sighs -
she knows she is older now
and will not turn away
from the colours of the sky.)

Bernadette,
waiting passively
on the Georgian tenement rooftop,
waiting patiently up there
for another tomorrow,
you will not return to your house this evening.

- James D. Young

Copyright 1967 Sequoya
Copyright renewed 1995 Sequoya


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Comments

The following comments are for "TH E SHORT SAGA OF BERNADETTE"
by JamesYoung

beauty in Soho
I enjoyed this .. good imagery .. slightly gritty in a Soho sunset sort of way.
ever wonder about the green eye thing? Did you know it's most frequently used?

( Posted by: Pen [Member] On: February 9, 2011 )

Green Eyes...and Ham
Pen, when I was putting together a chapbook of the old poems, I wrote this intro:

"The sound of Berry Gordy's Motown Records took a sharp turn in the spring of 1967, away from a formulaic approach and towards groundbreaking directions. One of the best examples of this bold new approach was "Bernadette" by the Four Tops. Its cry was loud and plaintiff as it burst forth from radios throughout the country.

"Influenced by the mood of this song, I crafted the title character not only to be British, but also to be a working girl in the poorer section of Soho. Looking back, with a small touch of unplanned irony, the format almost took on that of a song lyic: four (uneven) stanzas and one parenthetical chorus."

As for green eyes? Certainly not the jealousy connection. My assumption then and now was/is that many a British gal possessed green eye coloration. (My own went from a lifetime of brown to hazel-green about a decade ago!) - Jim

( Posted by: JamesYoung [Member] On: February 16, 2011 )

green eyes
I read somewhere and with great interest [because mine can switch to green at times] that green eyes are the most frequently chosen to describe women and not in a negative light ... sort of saying that green eyes were the most sexy as far as writers were concerned. Never thought that way myself but it was something I remembered.
If I remember correctly the comments surrounded comic book heros/heroines .. fascinating .. makes me wonder about soylant green .. just now it did anyhow.

( Posted by: Pen [Member] On: February 16, 2011 )





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