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1. islands between hello and goodbye

The factory
and dawn sky blended
in gathering streams
of black smoke
from towering stacks
and bituminous coal

while

the penthouse,
drenched in sunlight,
echoed the walls
with soft piano music
reflecting the patterns
of a deep plush rug

and

the park
remained behind in shadows,
the groan and sway
of empty swings
bending past restive
leaves of storm.

Only

the window
of warped glass separated
the dark, unheated room
from the subdued evening
of a blue winter portrait
waiting in isolated vigil.

2. lovers and dreamers

I thought of her
as our sports car
sped toward the coast,
vague in the light
blurred by the dawn
and my eyes.

The Canadian steamer
had journeyed sluggishly
past Vancouver,
and I remember her
smiling upon the hill
overlooking the glare
of the the frigid Yukon.

Dancing, smiling,
in blue taffeta
and in love,
she vanished from mind
as we crossed
the Golden Gate
in the rain
of early morning.

3. view from a ranch house

Straightaway stretched the limits of 66
and the sleeping southwest
with its long shadows racing across miles
of dusty prairie flat
as a truck bulleted closer, puking exhaust,
sucking up the road
that slept on, lulled by the touch and hum
of whining black rubber.

Within the cab the diesel jockey toyed
with thoughts of breakfast
waiting twenty miles down the road
and kept company with his transistor
blaring two voices in tight harmony
over the strum of twanging guitars.

Passing before the glare of the sun,
they continued to ball along,
mud guards and canvas flapping
in the wake of a great vacuum,
and the dust, roused from sleep,
settled back to rest once again.

4. maze on the i.r.t.

The trains moved in and out
of the station's lower platform
which never existed,
and the disturbed executive
rode on in the darkness
of the underground.

Stations he knew were out of place,
out of order, and the others
were both old and new in design.
Compelled by a desire to exit,
he found himself in a curving maze
of dimly-lit tunnels,
difficult to walk through.

Rats skittered by the water
dripping from the cracks in the wall,
and as the hum of machinery
grew louder into banging,
he could not be certain
if the walls seemed narrower.

5. garbage pick-up

Imposing
its faltering rumble
upon the tombstone
of a winterkilled street
in Brooklyn,
the yellow-metaled mammoth
digested yesterday
as a wizened grandmother
from her third-story window
called its feeders
"SONS-A-BITCHES!"
at two in the morning.

- James D. Young

Copyright 1968 Sequoya
Copyright renewed 1996 Sequoya


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Comments

The following comments are for "ever ride the waves in oklahoma?"
by JamesYoung

Gorgeous!
Absolutely smitten with this piece of writing. Of course it helps knowing the scenery well. Many thanks for this.

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

A Busy Lady
Gad, you have been busy, Pen. Thx so much for adding your comments on a lot of these ancient works of mine. (After "S.O.S" gets downloaded this week, there'll be one from '95 titled "Opium of the Orient." Would love your take on that one.)

The one above got its title from an old "Route 66" episode with Todd & Buz. It was my only foray into a theme and variation poem in an attempt to chronicle a birth-to-old age saga. Hope it worked. - Jim

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





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