My Scent And My Song..... - Poem by Eric Cockrell
the bridges beyond repair?
while the waters below churn
in oily filth...
dare we speak of madness?
be the door locked?
which side are we on?
reflection, or touch?
pavement, alleys, empty churches...
heroin, religion, and naked bodies smoking.
nothing defined by the abstract,
hands reaching from books.
while old people stink of age and loss,
as small children dance in our shadows.
the ground hard frozen,
the plow silently weeps.
while scarred lips read poetry
to the wind and the cold....
perhaps i died, and there's nothing left;
alas, nothing but the hollow where words expired!
and gasoline engines that cough with need;
who feeds the fire, who stands by the door?
love burns on crosses while crows feed on flesh.
bombs born on mondays, salvation on thursdays...
money shouts and freedom growls,
whose face in the dark?
as young lovers kiss, and old men dig graves.
Jesus crossed the border while coyotes wept.
the old woman boils photographs and cats' feet.
while prophets drive convertibles,
and children starve with a whimper!
the song on the radio echoes and burns,
and hate, well, the next best thing to love!
black men stand, hats off and hands bowed.
while immigrants bury children yet unborn.
and the poor working man stands in line
for a second hand soul.....
yet only women know what slavery means!
i follow the scent, the stain, and the ache.
with none beside me, save an old blind dog.
i speak no more, for words cannot hold,
the fury of life, in a raindrop, in a pine cone!
and the woman i love,
well, moonlight, ashes, and vinegar...
i howl, erect, and panting with need....
while branches crack under unseen steps,
and small birds shiver on miles of wire.
justice defined by anything less than truth,
the cost of dignity be dignity given.
if all men be brothers, then soldiers come home!
pray that your sisters forgive and hear.
to the young life is given, perhaps so unfair....
to the old dirt prayers, caskets, and memories....
i will return, my work is not done.
there are wings to touch, and trees to sing.
there are lovers to hold, and children to protect.
there are oceans to sail, and mountains to climb....
and the dirt 'neath my nails,
testifies to the years...
my pillow lights candles,
my boots crusted with mud.
wherever you turn, my scent and my song...
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