Archive for May, 2021

Ode to Bob Dylan : A Poem to Irregular Hopes

Ode to Bob Dylan at 80: A Poem to Irregular Hopes


Enjoining Austin Clarke, Dylan Thomas & Ted Hawkins with Bob Dylan in a poetic ‘strange loop’


Pretty mama, I don’t understand

Tell me what’s so special about this man[1]

As the cherry blossoms curl

To the ground below

A dream twister,

Thran as cloth galluses

His lyrics purl

At mankind’s threads

Along the watchtower.

No more auction block

At 80.

No undertaker’s bell

It is only a number,

Furnished full of tears, still

Ichi-go ichi-e

80 is the lock and life is the key

To the memory palace of memory.

Do not go gentle into that good night,

Old age should burn and rage at close of day;

Rage, rage against the dying of the light. Our poets saw a woman smiling

Her tresses, bright as celandine,

Could not cross the Crana flowing.

Men elbow the counter in public houses

Drink their pints of plain

Bob shall obey the ever known.

Why keep the grape stone

Leave the vine stock?

I know the injured pride of sleep

The strippers at the mocking post.

By the way, that’s a cute hat

And that smile’s so hard to resist.

I was so much older then

I am younger than that now.

So happy just to see you smile

Underneath the sky so blue

Morning has moved the dreadful candle

Appointed shadows cross the nave

Away, decide? What dare we call

Our thoughts, Marcus Aurelius?

Unwanted void or really us?

Tangled up in blue, at dawn, in a wood of sorrel, branchy

Dew-droppy, where sunlight gilded sapling

And silvered holly, or by the bank

Of Breda,

Where our poets saw a woman smiling

Her tresses, bright as celandine

Flashing amber

Sufficient glimpses of someone

Not long ago

Not long aglow

Where our poets saw a woman smiling

Her tresses, bright as celandine

Enjoying Proust’s madeleine.

With their nightingales and psalms

Bu for the lovers, their arms

Round the griefs of the ages,

Who pay no praise or wages

Nor heed my craft or art

You can always come back,

Like the ship of Theseus

But you can’t come back all way.

Like little limes, leaning fruitfully

On a tree.

Lines of limes, little limes.

Lovely lines of life at 80.

[1] Opening lyrics from Bad Dog written by Ted Hawkins from his LP Cold and Bitter Tears 2015.